Paul Ryan says he’s trying to provide leadership for “decentralized” GOP

Rep. Paul Ryan, the fast-talking, number-crunching Republican from Wisconsin, caused a stir last week when he called out his own party for not offering Americans a substantive alternative to Democrats in this fall’s elections.

“They’re talking to their pollsters and their pollsters are saying, ‘Stay away from this. We’re going to win an election,’” Ryan said, speaking at the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution.

Ryan, in the second of back-to-back high profile speeches touting his “Road Map” plan that proposes to make long-term entitlement spending solvent, lumped Republicans in with Democrats as having failed to talk seriously about the nation’s debt and deficit problem.

“Unfortunately, you know, when I jumped in the pool and encouraged other people to jump in the pool, we haven’t had many other folks swimming around. And that’s from both sides of the aisle, I would say,” Ryan said.

House Republican leadership aides downplayed the remarks.

Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who figures to become House Speaker if the GOP regains control, said Boehner “has said that Rep. Ryan’s ‘Roadmap’ is a strong, long-term plan for conservative reform, and he thanked Rep. Ryan for offering it.”

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Ryan said he was not trying to embarrass his party or his party’s leadership, but acknowledged that in speaking twice last week – at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and then at Brookings – he was trying to fill a leadership vacuum within the GOP.

“We are a decentralized party right now from a leadership standpoint. We don’t have some obvious nominee, and who knows who that’s going to be. So I just feel like it’s important for some of us to step in and help define the moment,” Ryan said.

But he added: “I’m not calling my party out … I’m just adding ideas to the pile to try and move the debate forward.”

The 40-year old Ryan is a rising young star in the GOP. He has been named by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as one of her favorite conservative leaders, and is one of the few Republican lawmakers to hold his own in one-on-one debate with President Obama.

He is not without his critics on the right. Ryan’s conservative bona fides are viewed with skepticism by some who question why he voted for the $700 billion TARP bailout in the fall of 2008, as well as for auto bailouts and taxes on AIG bonuses in 2009. (Ryan explained these votes in an interview this past February).

And there is video of Fox News personality Glenn Beck attacking Ryan floating around the internet, though Beck’s criticisms resulted in Ryan going on his radio show the next day, explaining that what Beck had read about him was misquoted, and relating his political philosophy in full. Beck, in response, said: “I love you.”

Obama and his outgoing budget director Peter Orszag have both acknowledged Ryan’s plan as a serious one, though they also disagree with it and have elevated it in part so that partisan Democrats can use it as a punching bag in a year when, in fact, most Republicans are trying to say as little as possible about what they plan to do if they regain the majority.

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  • dollar10E6

    Paul Ryan is my Congressman. He has been elected easily, but is not as popular in his own district than nationally. The critcism is that he has not brought home the bacon to the Wisconsin First District. That is the reason I support Ryan. He has gone against the trend of earmarks and pork and concentrated on budget busting and national solutions to our economic problems. He also is an optimist, an issues person and has a get-it-done attitude. He also is one of the few idea people in the select group of 545 that wants to provide long term solutions without resorting to ultra-expensive quick fix simplistic initiatives which purport to solve complex problems. The more you hear from Ryan, the more you will understand the mentality that both parties need.

  • prefers coffee

    Ryan voted for TARP and the auto bailout. He’s a fraud and a hypocrite.

    • theprofessor

      So, make up your mind. Are you going to excuse Republicans of marching in lockstep against Obama? or are you going to complain because they think for themselves.

      Be careful, don’t get too dizzy spinning around from position to position.

      • theprofessor

        excuse should read accuse, of course

    • RoadtoFREEDOM

      preferskoolaid, implicit in your statement is TARP was a bad idea, yet Obummer and the Dumbocrats voted for it – why no long face bout them voting for it?

      I’ve read why Ryan voted for TARP and the autobailout. I wasn’t happy about it either, but I understand his reasoning. Doesn’t make him a fraud, though, coffeecake.

      Now, if you want to talk about fraud… here are some highlights from your Dear Leader…

      * promised to adhere to 85 million in campaign spending… raised 600 million instead, bought the election.

      * claimed to be a post racial, post partisan, center left reasonable guy, yet has proposed one socialistic far left position after another, dramatically increased racial tensions, and blamed every single thing since inauguration on George W. Bush and Republicans. Fraud.

      * Animal Farm Rhetoric of the finest kind… pretend to be for the little guy, do nothing but carve outs and special deals for lobbyists and unions (‘campaign finance’, GM bailout, refused to waive Jones Act, Obamacare), and on, and on, and on… including the Financial Deform law that specifically excludes culprits Fannie and Freddie.

      If I’m gonna take Republicans to task for something, it will be Snowe, Brown, Collins, etc., voting for Financial Deform, phony jobs bills, puppet supreme court nominees, and any other time they’ve voted with Democrats on anything since this bunch took over. But Paul Ryan? Nah, he’s one of the good guys in a sess pool of tricksters, liars and frauds. not saying he’s perfect, but he’s one of the good guys.

      You on the other hand, are a puppet troll here for my amusement to bat around while I count the days until November 2. Please post a pic of your tear stained face on November 3rd and I’ll consider it an early Christmas present.

    • des1

      Prefers coffee still doesn’t understand what Congressman do. He’s a moron and borderline retarded.

  • Miss A

    I wish all small business owners would read his plan.

    The day Paul Ryan is a household word in this country will be a happy day for me.

    I learned to love him with his “props” at the one day Obama met with Republican leaders and it was on C-span 2 so it would be “transparent” day.

    To Obama, the very bill they were discussing was just a “prop”.

    • jelohman

      Read “prefers coffee” above…

      “Ryan voted for TARP and the auto bailout. He’s a fraud and a hypocrite.”

      Ryan has not lifted a finger to eliminate the campaign corruption in DC. He should be shown the door in November.

      Jack Lohman …

      • RoadtoFREEDOM

        Um, no. Look, get informed or get lost.

  • graymatter

    Ryan is the worst congressman in the world and a complete ideological fraud.

    Largely overlooked are the ideological underpinnings of Ryan’s Roadmap manifesto. This area of analysis is extremely important with his Roadmap because once you get passed the numbers in his schemes, there is an insidiously evil element based on marketing a brand of Randian individualism that attempts to shame only idividuals and not Big Business away from the success of collective power. His scheme transforms health care into new voucher entitlements and self-imposed rationing by guilt-tripping the cost of seniors health care against the future of their own grandchildren. This is scary stuff.

    But there’s even more ideological weirdness with Paul Ryan. He’s also been very vocal on blaming future uncertainty and tax uncertainty for the free market’s reluctance to create jobs, while at the same time he wants to strip Social Security “certainty” away from workers and seniors because “it ends up draining them of their incentive and will to make the most of their lives.”

    So why is “uncertainty,” which is thee absolute core fundamental of free market risk, so undesirable in the free markets, according to the supposed “pro-market” Ryan? But so important for individuals to have in order to make the most of their lives?

    At a time when American banks are sitting on $1.5 trillion in uncommitted cash, a publicly-held American company predicated a $600 million sales deal with a foreign company on U.S. taxpayer funded loan gaurantees instead of private underwriting. The deal (Bucyrus) had influential private interests using government to leverage itself against the competition, and it had high level legislators over-riding policy to gain favor. It fit Ryan’s own definition of crony capitalism to a tee. What did Ryan do? He buckled at the knees like the rest of the mostly useless GOP on his own principles and instead wrote a press release tearing down policies and principles of the Obama Administration if the deal fell through.

    Now he wants the fraudulent republican party to stand up for his America killing plan when he doesn’t stand up for his own principles? Here’s the plan, you jump first.

    • RoadtoFREEDOM

      Did you use your graymatter to come up with that choice compilation of nonsense?

      Let’s start with “success of collective power”… the reason Ryan is calling to shift younger Americans to a voluntary system (they can still opt for SS, you dolt) is because the program is NOT a success, but rather on the fast track to bankruptcy, leaving same younger Americans with NOTHING. Progressive, thy name is stupid.

      Next up, “Ryan wants to strip certainty away…” by offering a choice for younger Americans? Um, shortbus, the program is going broke… that is the only certainty about the program. If you got BETTER ideas for how to make it solvent without eating up every last dollar of tax revenue, along with Medicare, then… why don’t ya rant about that instead?

      And finally… you seem to resent that US Banks would sit on cash and taxpayers and small businesses would respond to the massive uncertainty in the economy, regulations, tax rates, and the rapid fire mega bloat ‘reforms’ the Bamby Presidency is cranking out like hot cakes, by not consuming, not spending, and generally stuffing whatever money they have under a mattress until the stupid storm blows over.

      Well, that, graywater, is called consequences of stupid policy by a wet behind the big ears administration that knows less about economics than it does about foreign policy. Stop being socialist sh*tweasels and you’ll find that the economy will recover. And if you take a lesson, especially a Randian lesson, then you’d see that getting the bloated bureaucrat bunch off America’s back will pretty much cure all our ills because we are a resiliant people.

      Maybe, Graywater, you would prefer to live in a Euro-style welfare state where government is free to trample all over everyone in the name of ‘collective power’. Here in the US, we reserve the right to tell you to S.T.F.U.

      If you are frustrated now… wait till the useless GOP spanks your silly self in the MidTerm with more reality you won’t like. I know, you despise us… but then, we despise you more. So it’s all good.

      • graymatter

        Obviously I’m not as smart as you, Roadie, or your worshipful master Paul Ryan. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But I know wrong when I see it.

        Too bad Ryan doesn’t stand up with his own ideological rantings against collectivism because – it was Ryan himself who ran to the collective system of taxation (government) for a series of capital injections to keep the free markets afloat. Why was he the GOP point man for TARP? Again, because he’s an ideological fraud. See, the difference between you and I is I actually back up my descriptions for him with sound reasoning.

        Since Obama’s was elected, Ryan and his cast of Republican obstructionists repeatedly said “no” at every chance they had to democratically engage in the health care debate. Even during Obama’s live TV forum, the Republicans had a great chance to influence and shape the plan, instead they propped up the parochial math of the ideologically damaged Ryan to tear it down. Republicans repeatedly chose to avoid democracy.

        His tax code plan ignores an individual’s earned portion of the country’s annual total capital aggregate and abandons the current progressive income brackets for a two flat tax system with a massive new entitlement for the poor. It will kill consumer demand and plunge the country into massive poverty. The roadmap is not fiscal policy, it’s a corporate-fascist societal manifesto.

        If only Ryan wouldn’t try to continually claim that he’s above all the swampy crony capitalism influencing government decisions in Washington, it would probably be less obvious that he’s actually at the bottom of it all.

        Believe me, I’m not frustrated at all.

        Ryan needs to be rejected – permanently. Don’t get your underwear all bunched up. Stay classy.

        • RoadtoFREEDOM

          Wow, you’re fun. You actually spun the Obamacare fiasco as having been undemocratically blocked by Republicans… and your only critique of Ryan is that you dismiss his math by simply declaring him wrong. His other offense? Dismantling the unAmerican progressive income tax, the jocularity never ends with you apparently.

          I’ll agree that you are not smart, but that is your burden to bear, and leaves you woefully unqualified to judge Paul Ryan, or his proposal.

          I’m not going to defend Ryan on TARP, though he did explain why he voted for that. I hold NO politician above reproach, but I simply reject your harsh broad brush painting of him as a dishonest scumbag. Why not share your thoughts on Charlie Rangle, Chris Dodd, or Barney Frank, if you want some dishonest scumbags to talk about – or perhaps, John Kerry?

          You are articulate, mind numbingly ideological and totally confused about how economies work, but articulate. Read ‘Road to Serfdom’ perhaps.

          If you insist that collectivist progressive/statist polices are so wonderful, please explain why after almost 100 years of their implementation the Govt is 13 trillion in debt and the major programs involved are bankrupting us, just as predicted they would back when first proposed???

          yeah, I know. Better to attack your critics, especially ones like Ryan who use specific facts and figures to back up his positions and proposals. Spin all you want, your house of cards is coming down and I’d take Paul Ryan over any Democrat any day. But you think he’s scum.

          Good luck with that. I hear Soros is hiring useful idiots. You’re over qualified.

          • graymatter

            Why should I share my thoughts on Charlie Rangle, Chris Dodd, or Barney Frank? They’re not the ones out there writing and rambling ideological doctrines for the masses to drink. They’re not the ones out there like Ryan and yourself who keep their fingers crossed for our country to fail – just so republicans can win an election. Ryan’s one of a few out there running on suicidal ideology, but he wants others to take the leap first.

            As smart as you are, you still don’t get it Roadie. It’s Ryan who pretends to live by principles he can’t keep. Whether it’s his reasoning on TARP, Bucyrus, or his version of crony capitalism, individualism, collectivism or future certainty, his principles are unapplicable in the real world. He can’t stand by them so he tears down the opposition. But he’s got enough people snookered on his principles for re-election and THAT is what counts.

            By the way, I don’t think Ryan is scum. But I do believe he’s an extremely misguided individual who is ideologically damaged enough to be unsuitable for congress, let alone any leadership role.

          • RoadtoFREEDOM

            Dude, seriously, which of the accusations about Ryan’s dangerous ideas don’t apply directly to the entire Progressive platform??? Talk about not working in the real world. You have yet to acknowledge the bipartisan accepted truth: social security, medicare, etc., are going broke and if we don’t do something different they literally will consume the entire Federal Budget.

            You may not like Ryan’s specific proposal, but what is dangerous is staying the existing course. Let’s debate how to protect those too old to change their retirement and at the same time give future generations a system that works – what is so dangerous about giving people a choice to privately invest their savings?

            All I get from you is that you passionately fear free market reforms and have a limited understanding of what Ryan is proposing. You seem to be mostly informed by talking points that Ryan is bad or dangerous, not by the actual nuances of the proposal – like the one where younger people can still opt to be part of Social Security.

            The train wreck is coming. Progressives built the mess we are facing by promising everyone guaranteed retirement and failed to foresee obvious things like changing birth rates and larcenous public officials who would rob the coffers… in other words, the typical way in which socialist, redistributionist, Marxist stuff ALWAYS fails when applied outside of the Ivory Tower.

            There was a time when Americans didn’t look to the Government to provide a cradle to grave safety net, when self reliance was assumed and private charity filled in when hardship was overwhelming – the destruction of that cultural ethos among the half of the electorate that doesn’t pay taxes, doesn’t vote, doesn’t do squat but live off the productive is the greatest indictment of progressive/statist policies, and perhaps one of the greatest crimes in human history because it has crippled the will of the greatest country the world has ever known.

            I praise Ryan for having the stones to propose a comprehensive reform. We need to debate the specifics as a nation – but if you want to dismiss him outright for his proposal and silence him by maligning his character, you are a misguided tool of the far left and an apologist for the current condition, which IS undeniably dangerous.

            The clock is ticking. we need serious people to face unpleasant facts, like the one where OUR government LIED to generations about social security being a safety net when in truth it is a ponzi scheme past scumbag politicians used to get elected and re-elected. For decades we’ve known this train wreck was coming and chicken sh*t politicians of both parties refused to propose anything to fix it… so Ryan deserves credit for publicly proposing ANYTHING when others on both sides are unwilling to do so, passing the buck to future Americans to face.

            Those who stiff our children and pit younger generations against those retiring now (and in power NOW) are the scum, pal. If you side with the forces of status quo, then you are part of the problem. Just know that.

        • lnsmithee

          Since Obama’s was elected, Ryan and his cast of Republican obstructionists repeatedly said “no” at every chance they had to democratically engage in the health care debate. Even during Obama’s live TV forum, the Republicans had a great chance to influence and shape the plan, instead they propped up the parochial math of the ideologically damaged Ryan to tear it down. Republicans repeatedly chose to avoid democracy.

          “Democracy.” You keep using that word. It does not mean what you think it means.

          Don’t play dumb, graymatter — we we’ve watched the way the REAL process was corrupted by horsetrading, pork-loading, vote-buying Dems. That “summit” with the Republicans was nothing resembling “democracy.” It was not something that our Constitution calls for. It was not even the negotiations about the bill that he promised the nation would be broadcast on C-SPAN at least nine different times during the campaign. It was nothing but CYA for the invoking of the various nefarious methods at the Dems’ disposal to steamroll ObamaCare into law by any means necessary.

          The script was already written no matter what the GOP folks brought to the table: If the problems Republicans had with ObamaCare were specific enough to articulate in seven hours, BHO would interrupt and accuse them of reading “talking points” and/or politicizing the issue instead of trying to solve it. If specific questions were asked or references made to individual poison pill-like aspects of a 2,000+ page bill that it seems none of the Democrats wanted to admit they had read, the GOPers would be accused of “grandstanding” and “stagecraft.” And as the chair of the meeting, Obama skewed speaking time toward the Dems and gave himself the power to interrupt and filibuster at will. To the surprise of nobody that was paying attention, it ended with Obama announcing an impasse, that he would go forward regardless of popular opinion against ObamaCare, and as for the consequences, “That’s what elections are for.”

          THEN, after chastisizing John McCain at the summit by saying “The campaign’s over,” Obama felt the need to host rallies in states where Dems are in danger of ejection after ObamaCare had passed! What a frigging hypocrite!

          • RoadtoFREEDOM

            Amen. Well said.

      • milty

        Not even close. The worst congressman by far is that nut case from FL Alan Grayson.

    • damage6

      Graymatter why don’t you just go troll somewhere else? SS was a bull$h!t ponsie scheme from day one. Even without congresses’ continual raiding of the SS coffers it would have been unsustainible and eventually collapsed under it’s own weight. The fact that our elected officials spent that money and stuffed the account with IOU’s just hastened the fall.

      • ImpressedByHonesty

        Not sure if you are as well informed as you think:


        • theprofessor

          Again, the article is from Aug of 2008, BEFORE THE RECESSION! BEFORE millions of people lost their jobs and quit paying into the system.

          Are you deliberately this obtuse? because I’m almost starting to feel sorry for you. Do you have somebody there that can tie your shoes for you?

    • thephranc

      America killing plan? Some one here doesn’t understand economics. And in case you didn’t know it is you.

      • theprofessor

        This type of crap is what they are going to do from now to November — they’ve been bitchin’ and griping for 18 months that the Republicans are the party of “no”, but when a great proposal that can help the country is put forth, they tear it down with unreasonable, uniformed dribble.
        What they don’t realize is that wrapping b.s. with big words and phrases may fool their buddies on the left, but the rest of us can see through it.

  • AK47MikeN

    Ryan is the real deal. Paul Ryan is Newt Gingrich three affairs ago. The guy is a wizard. He is up there with Palin, DeMint, Bachmann, Steve King,and Brewer as one the true greats.

  • AK47MikeN

    Palin/Ryan 2012.

    • JDoe

      Ryan YES…Palin…sorry, but no. She needs to be further removed from the

      liberal media trashing her and from quitting as Gov…..now maybe after Ryan

      does his 8 years…great.

      I like RYAN/JINDAL or RYAN/CHRISTIE <<<IF Christie doesn't turn RINO and go

      for illegal "reform" (AKA..Amnesty)

      • Miss A

        Obama’s minions sued via FOIA and cost the state of Alaska hundreds of thousands of dollars, so Palin quit to stop the Obama machine. Seems like Obama will still be ruling the roost even after he is out.

        • loudog

          And you actually believe that? A lawsuit drove her away from serving her elected term? Oh brother.

          • thephranc

            Not one but scores. And the suits stopped when she left. So their non-democratic tactics of tyrannical badgering worked.

            Not that you are know for being intellectual honest so I can see why you don’t have integrity to understand.

        • JDoe

          I agree with you on the facts, I personally understand WHY she was forced to resign….BUT remember, this nation is STILL owed by the Liberal media.
          As I wrote…she needs to be further removed from the slaughter they did to her and a few of the missteps she made (remember 20 Dem mistake = 1 GOP mistake…..GOP is held to a MUCH higher standard!)
          Remember how many times they reported WRONGLY btw, that she could “see Russia from her front porch” ? She never even said that…

          BUT….how many times did they report ObaMao saying:

          “I’ve now been in 57 states – I think one left to go.” – Barack Obama at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon.

          That is actually something he DID say…as opposed to something Palin DID NOT

          Sorry, but she needs to wait it out….

          Think Sharon Angle in NV.

          But there is a serious, woman to consider for VP…check out Sen. Cathy McMorris Rogers of WA. Graduated from law school, extremely well spoken, experienced, married to a war Hero, even has a Down’s baby…..She is being groomed, keep an eye out for her. VERY impressive !

          She and Ryan would make an EXCELLENT team !

  • libertyatstake

    Social Security should have been privatized 25 years ago (minimum). Let’s make sure Private Ryan gets a promotion.

    [For a light hearted take on our present peril]

  • prefers coffee

    Paul Ryan:

    You need health care? Die.
    You paid for social security? Here’s your voucher.
    Got flooded? Drown.
    Loaded with cash? Here’s your tax break!

    • thephranc

      Attributing stance to some one who didn’t actually say them is dishonest. Why do you have to lie?

      • RoadtoFREEDOM

        thephranc, ‘prefers coffee’ really prefers spewing talking points. facts, Ryan’s real positions… those are things that only encumber rational people.

        Prefer Coffee is apparently a bigot troll who thinks posting nonsense on blogs that disagree with leftwing orthodoxy is a productive way to spend time.

        The really cool thing is that deep down CoffeCake knows that there is no substance to the drivel launched at Paul Ryan, so that’s no doubt distressing to coffecake as the Obama wet dream crumples up by November.

        Facts don’t favor fools.

        • prefers coffee

          Really? So why isn’t the Minority Leader fully embracing Ryan’s proposals? Because they’re political suicide.

          • theprofessor

            Here’s a concept that I know you idiots on the left aren’t familiar with, but Ryan isn’t doing it for political gain…he’s proposing what he thinks is best for the country. When’s the last time ANYBODY on the left every tried that?

          • RoadtoFREEDOM

            Gee, preferskoolaid, did you think that up all by yourself? The Minority Leader is probably pursuing the strategy to keep the midterms focused on the amazing plethora of failures and unpopular garbage that the Democrats have inflicted on America – and give back political strategy that worked for the Dems in 06 and 08 (run against the incumbent, not for a platform).

            Since the media is in the tank for Democrats, it would be political suicide of sorts to run on a platform as nuanced as Ryan’s Roadmap when idiots like you have reduced that proposal to ‘stealing social security from old folks’, and other such nonsense.

            I may not 100% agree with the Minority Leader on that strategy, but it makes sense – consider that pro-bono remedial education for you on current events.

            Listen, I feel for ya dawg, in less than 100 days your progressive hopes and dreams are gonna get a major monkey wrench tossed in the mix. If you are frustrated with how ineffective the Dems have been with total control of Government, just wait till they no longer control Congress.

            Then you can’t deem and pass squat, coffecake… and the payback is gonna be a real heart burner.

  • riker

    Ryan is the smartest congressman in congress….and definitely one of the few GOP congressman courageous enough to offer very detailed policy that addresses the fiscal train wreck created by the democrats. He has dismantled every liberal politician and TV pundit. This week he decimated Mr Tinlges on MSNBC and some idiot democrat congressman from NY.

    This guy is a star in a party that lacks courage and is rife with bush era establishment republicans…..a GOP that threw out its brand and created a gap that the Obami filled (with audacious lies and soothing speeches) in 2008.

    God we need more guys like this

    • katnandu

      Dittos on that!