Someone pass Budget Chairman Paul Ryan a tissue, because it appears President Barack Obama has broken his heart.
Reacting to Obama’s Wednesday speech on deficit reduction, Ryan said that he was first “excited,” then “naively optimistic,” then “disappointed,” then “sad” and finally, in the end, “sincerely disappointed.”
“I was excited when we got invited to attend his speech today,” Ryan, who authored the Republican budget proposal unveiled last week, said just hours after returning from George Washington University where he was given a front row seat for Obama’s address. “I thought the president’s invitation…was an olive branch. Instead, what we got was a speech that was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate to address our countries fiscal challenges.”
Obama’s speech ripped into Ryan’s proposal, arguing that it would take health care opportunities away from senior citizens, and “ends Medicare as we know it.” His 43-minute talk may have put the vice president to sleep, but it energized the traditionally wonky Ryan.
“What we heard today was a political broadside from our campaigner in chief,” Ryan said.”This is very sad and very unfortunate. Rather than building bridges, he’s poisoning wells.”
Ryan said that was truly expecting Obama to pave a way for the parties to work together on curbing Social Security insolvency, and changing Medicare and Medicaid. Instead, the president took the hour to “pass partisan broadsides,” Ryan said.
“I was excited because I thought he was going to give us something on Social Security, a plan,” he said. “”This is not even a plan. This was a speech. This was a plan to have a bunch of other people set up a commission to come up with a plan.”
When asked if he thought the speech was a sign there could never been common ground on the budget between the parties, Ryan was pessimistic.
“I hope not,” he said. “But this sure doesn’t help.”