House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan said in an interview with The Daily Caller that he “loves” the idea of having “specific and credible” plans, like presidential candidate Herman Cain’s signature “9-9-9″ proposal, in the national debate about tax policy.
Ryan told The Daily Caller in an exclusive interview that Cain’s plan is a good starting point for debate, and shows the GOP presidential campaign season has entered into a more advanced stage where ideas — not just personalities — have come to the forefront.
“We need more bold ideas like this because it is specific and credible,” Ryan said. “I’m more of a flat-tax kind of a guy.”
The budget chairman went on to say that ideas like Cain’s plan could help shape the debate over tax reform moving into 2013.
“It’s great to see such bold ideas,” Ryan told TheDC.
Commenting on the sniping among the candidates and their criticism directed at Cain’s plan, Ryan said the entire process would make the eventual GOP nominee stronger going into the general election.
Contacted by TheDC on Thursday, Herman Cain’s campaign was appreciative of the unexpected comments.
“I consider Paul Ryan to be one of the brightest minds in Washington, D.C.,” said Mark Block, Cain’s chief of staff, “Mr. Cain looks forward to sitting down with Congressman Ryan.
Update: Kevin Seifert, a spokesman for Ryan, clarified late Thursday that the budget committee chairman has not endorsed Cain or the specifics of his “9-9-9″ plan, but rather that he “loved” that it was becoming “a starting point for a larger conversation on tax reform.” This story was edited to reflect that clarification.