Pelosi appeared with congressional candidate Lois Frankel and sought to convince seniors that Democrats are the most ardent defenders of Medicare and Social Security. She criticized Romney, who has voiced support for a House Republican plan that would shift Medicare from a fee-for-service program into one where future retirees buy insurance using subsidies.

"That's just not what Medicare is about," Pelosi said. "We cannot have our seniors be at the mercy of the health insurance industry. This is a guarantee. We cannot turn it into a gamble."

She called GOP efforts to trim government misguided, saying "we don't want any more government than we need," but that it's a mistake to think there isn't a place for federal oversight of things like clean water, health and safe food.

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"This is the E. coli club," she said of conservatives, suggesting over-the-top spending cuts would lead to serious consequences.

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