Romney, Ryan speak of 'courage' required for entitlement reform
March 30th, 2012
11:02 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney, Ryan speak of 'courage' required for entitlement reform

(CNN) – Whether Mitt Romney's campaign is counting down in days or hours to Tuesday's primary in Wisconsin, it isn't wasting either of them.

Romney and his latest high-profile endorser, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, talked entitlement reform in a Friday night television interview.

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"The reason I'm excited about Mitt Romney's candidacy is because it's very clear to me from all of our interactions that he understands this threat to our country," Ryan said on Fox News. "And he also understands the kind of courage we need to employ to fix these problems before they get out of control."

Ryan's budget, which passed the Republican-led House this week, but is not expected to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, proposes significant reductions to federal entitlement spending. Romney has said he would reduce federal spending by cutting anything not so "critical to our nation's future that we should borrow money from China to pay for it" - a test that he says is in sharp contrast to an "entitlement society" being pursued by President Barack Obama.

This and previous Ryan budgets have come under sharp criticism from Democrats, though Ryan is well liked in the first district of Wisconsin, which he won with 68% of the vote in his last election.

Ryan's endorsement could help Romney in Wisconsin, where polls show him in front of the GOP pack. Romney lost the previous contest, last Saturday's Louisiana primary.

He met with rival presidential candidate Newt Gingrich ahead of that vote, and Romney said the two "speak from time to time."

"I speak with Senator Santorum and Ron Paul from time to time," too, he said. "We get along on a very personal basis. We recognize that we're in the middle of a very challenging primary, but we're going to come together. There's no question in my mind but that you're going to see these four people come together and support whoever our nominee is."

Sitting beside Ryan, Romney brushed aside a question about which of this week's two major congressional endorsers he would favor as his No. 2.

But instead of either Ryan or Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Romney suggested – with a chuckle - former President George H. W. Bush, who gave his official nod to Romney on Thursday. Bush, who served as vice president under President Ronald Reagan, has more experience, Romney and Ryan agreed.

- CNN's Gregory Wallace and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Also see:

Kerry rallies democratic supporters by warning of 'swift boat' redux

Romney, Gingrich held private meeting

Bush asks about son's endorsement

RNC reserves vital cash for eventual GOP nominee


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Wisconsin
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    American people don't suport these republican clown canadates and they will find out in Nov when they go down in flames . Every state that has republicans in control is in trouble turning down federal dallars for jobs, transporttation ,healthcare and education right here in Florida. Dem landslide coming in Nov, thanks teaparty!!!!

    March 31, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  2. Switters

    Rmoney and Ryan would like us to believe that it's not even worth it to tax the 10% of the citizens who possess 90% of the wealth of the nation – in fact, these people need to have their taxes lowered.

    Instead, they tell us that the answer to the 'debt crisis' is to increase taxation on the 90% of the citizens who possess 10% of the wealth of the nation.

    Rmoney and Ryan are not 'stupid' – but I believe that they think that we are...........

    March 31, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  3. Martha in CF

    A picture of dumb and dumber.

    March 31, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  4. Ed1

    Paradoxical Quote of The Day From Ben Stein :

    “Fathom the Hypocrisy of a Government

    that requires every citizen to prove

    they are insured.... but not everyone

    must prove they are a citizen.”;

    March 31, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Probably easy to be "courageous" when someone else suffers the consequences....

    March 31, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. pahleeze

    WOW the ruling elite are going to decided the common masses should not receive the programs they paid into there whole working lives. It is a story as old as time the ruling elite just keep taking and taking.
    The shame is that the republicans keep giving the 1% all the power they need because they tangle there message in with religion. Stop it sheep
    What’s next tax cuts for the rich? Oh wait

    March 31, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. Marie MD

    OMG! Can the teapublikan party get any scarier????? Shivers down my spine.
    The man who doesn't want people with pre existing conditions to get medical insurance and the guy who wants to destroy medicare/medicaid and any help for seniors, the middle class and the poor.
    What a pair of . . . . . fill in the blank.

    March 31, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. gg

    bring back the jobs–MADE IN AMERICA–then the only ones getting hand-outs will be the politicions

    March 31, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. GI Joe

    WOW -- a perfect 11

    Two 1's standing side by side.

    March 31, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. Ron

    No, gentlemen. No courage required to do what you are trying to do. In fact, just the opposite. It's very easy to beat up on the poor, the young, the old, the sick, the uneducated.... My oh my – what great examples of "Christians" you are!

    March 31, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. mike

    Why do Republicans not get it . You need spending cuts and a raise in taxs to fix our great Country. Every one needs to help.

    March 31, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. DewyB

    So Courage would not be cutting assistance to the poor and helping yourself to a tax cut, which is what Romney and Ryan are proposing. How is it Courage to give themselves a tax break and cut food stamps? I call Cowardice.

    March 31, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. mike

    Ryan wont even be relected.

    March 31, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. Jess C

    Indeed, it takes major "courage" to let the wealthy continue to slide on those "temporary" Bush tax breaks while sticking it to the poor and middle class. These two trolls wouldn't know courage if it bit 'em.

    March 31, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. iTALIAN NONNO

    How about showing some courage in ending subsidies to big oil,.. courage to end Tax breaks for billionaires. The GOP courage is all about screwing the middle class.

    March 31, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Tony

    It takes no courage to cut taxes for the rich and make up the loss in revenue by cutting social programs like Social Security and Medicare by an even greater amount. Republicans want to do these things anyway. It takes no courage for Romney to propose tax cuts that will increase the deficits by 3 trillion in the next ten years compared to current policy. This means that Romney's tax cut plan will increase the deficits by 3 trillion in the next ten years compared to Obama's policy.

    March 31, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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