Following Sen. Marco Rubio’s Republican response to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Republican Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the 2012 GOP nominee for the vice presidency, gave a somewhat positive critique of Obama’s remarks to Jake Tapper on CNN’s wrap-up coverage.
“In some areas I think he was productive,” Ryan said. “I thought on comprehensive immigration reform, I thought his words were measured. I think the tone and the words he took were productive on that front. He listed a laundry list of new programs that ought to be created. He said they won’t cost another dime. The problem is we’re already a trillion in the hole. He dramatically overstated the deficit reduction of his administration without counting any spending that had occurred during his administration.”
“So I think he underplayed they enormity of our task before us on a debt crisis, on deficit reduction, which is really threatening to our economy,” he continued. “So I think what you got was kind of a traditional laundry list, I guess I would say, from a liberal perspective, of new programs and things like that, without really talking about what these will really cost and how it affects our economy.”
On immigration, Ryan praised Obama for his “measured tone.”
“I think, you know, when you have — when you are in the legislative arena and we’re trying to get a comprehensive bipartisan agreement here, the words he uses matters,” Ryan said. “And he used what I thought was a measured tone, which gives me a sense that he is trying to get something done. So he used measured words that were productive with respect to immigration.”
“I think that’s an area where we have a good chance of getting something done,” Ryan continued. “There are clearly other areas where we have to work together. But what I am concerned about is he underplayed the enormity of the task before us, which is to confront a debt crisis. He is suggesting that there is not much work to be done to reduce the deficit and get this debt under control. And that’s just not the case. There is a lot of work to be done.”