August 12th, 2012
09:30 AM ET
2 years ago

Axelrod calls Ryan a 'right wing ideologue'

(CNN) – A day after Mitt Romney named Rep. Paul Ryan his running mate, the Democratic attack line on the newly minted Republican ticket centered on Ryan's budget proposal and his conservative stance on social issues.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser David Axelrod said the president felt Ryan, while 'genial,' would drive Medicare, the government-run health care program for seniors, into the ground.

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"I think he thinks he's a perfectly genial and bright guy, he just thinks his theory is wrong," Axelrod told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "Congressman Ryan is a right wing ideologue, and that's reflected in the positions he's taken.

Axelrod went on to list points of Ryan's House GOP budget proposal – which Obama himself called "thinly veiled social Darwinism" at a luncheon in April – that he claimed were on the extreme end of the political spectrum.

The $3.5 trillion Ryan budget plan seeks to stem ballooning federal debt and deficit by slashing spending and reforming Medicare and Medicaid. The House GOP plan also calls for a reduction in individual tax rates and brackets. Instead of today's six brackets, with rates from 10% to 35%, it calls for just two - 10% and 25%. The proposal would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, while dropping the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%.

"He's quite extreme. A good person, a genial person, but his views are quite harsh," Axelrod said.

Obama's adviser said the president had already taken steps to ensure Medicare would remain fiscally sound, despite an influx of retirees signing up for benefits, including by eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse" from the system and promoting "better delivery of care."

"These are the ways to save Medicare, not by a Trojan horse that will ultimately spell its demise," Axelrod said.

The choice of Ryan, which Romney unveiled Saturday at a rally in Norfolk, Virginia, wouldn't ultimately make much of a difference in the race for the White House, Axelrod predicted.

"I think it's helped further define the race, I don't think its shaken up the race because Gov. Romney has embraced many of the positions Congressman Ryan espouses, as extreme as they sound," he said.

The two Republicans, Axelrod asserted, held similar positions on issues that many Americans find extreme.

"I think they are kindred spirits on some of these policies, and certainly on these social issues they have come together banning abortion and so on, but I don't think these are mainstream positions in the country," Axelrod said.

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Filed under: David Axelrod • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Hopeandchange

    Paul Ryan....I think I am in love!

    August 12, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Caron Speas

    I had a dream. It was a revelation. It scared the h*ll out of me. I was told by God to beware. Ryan is the anti-christ! He will not win in 2012, but by 2016 he will rule over 80% of the world. It will be the beginning of the end.

    August 12, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Peace

    @kevin
    Ryan's idea on Medicare is just a starting point not an end point.
    ----
    Kevin, do you think seniors can stomach this???? The regarded government's most popular program!!!

    August 12, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. King

    I remembered when the stock markets fell 17 trillion dollars in the hole, 800 thousand job lost a month, 9 percent economy retraction, yet the repubs chattering that Obama didnt fix the economy quick enough. what was they doing between 2007 and 2008 when the economy recession was in full swing. oh I forgot, they was panicking, jumping off high rises and ducking and hiding. now came the president to stop another great depression, and all these repibs can do is blame Obama for starting the whole thing in the first place, and every thing that happened because of this collosus event.

    August 12, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Anonymous

    @Independent from New Hampshire: Please check your spelling. The republican in you is showing not only through your ideology but your grammar as well.

    What kind of intelligent comments are you going to provide when the shoe is on the other foot. Trying to read Xavier’s' comment makes Ben look like a college professor out of Harvard.

    Intelligence is not based on how well you can spell and articulate words, just look at Obama. One thing he has not mastered is the capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding.

    August 12, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Russ in Md.

    @Independent from New Hampshire: "Please check your spelling. The republican in you is showing not only through your ideology but your grammar as well."

    What kind of intelligent comments are you going to provide when the shoe is on the other foot. Trying to read Xavier’s' comment makes Ben look like a college professor out of Harvard.

    Intelligence is not based on how well you can spell and articulate words, just look at Obama. One thing he has not mastered is the capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding.

    August 12, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Nietodarwin

    GOP has a jobs plan. It goes like this: SCREAM "abortion abortion abortion ANYTIME ANY attempt is made to pass a jobs bill, so it stalls and dies, and nothing gets done. We can fix this country if we get the House back. Y'all have a "blessed" sunday in our imaginary sky fairy in the sky. You Talibangelicals can sing Ryan's praised all day, (once ya finish with sky fairy practice.)

    August 12, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. Gemela Douglas

    In my opinion if you are old and nobody after long years of hardwork you don't deserved to lived that the way Romney and Ryan fixed the budget..... Are the forgetting we are paying taxes by taking it from our pay checks.... Unlike pretending to loved this country but create business to cheap labor country to get away to paying taxes in the U.S.

    August 12, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. longshot

    Ryan voted to balloon the deficit during the Bush years and pay for two wars on borrowed money. Now he wants to cut the deficit by further cut taxes to the rich and corporations and raise them on everyone else, and cut education, Medicare, infrastructure, research. Sorry, tax cuts do not create jobs, stop with that tired, old, proven wrong line – right wing ideology does not make facts reality. Look at history, look at the data. Taxes are now lowest in 70+ years.

    August 12, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. RudyG

    Axelrod was very defensive on Meet The Press this morning. They may really have to talk about the economy now. Naw, they'll try to keep talking about Mrs. Romney's horse....

    August 12, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Gizmo

    Why is everyone even arguing about Ryan and Mittens so-called vision for America? Anyone with a brain knows the President is gonna win no matter how much the G.O.P. don't like him! It's a slam dunk for the Dems and everyone knows it so everyone just chill! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012 AND BEYOND!!!

    August 12, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. snakebite201

    The Obama administration fears Ryan because they are afraid his budget plan would actually work and that would make their BIG Government ideas look like a SCAM.

    August 12, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Josh C

    Paul Ryan is a man of integrity unlike the goons in the White House. I can't wait to send Obama and his socialists packing in November...

    August 12, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Ronnie

    Romney the Chief OUtsourcer !!!!
    He outsourced his reputation building to Paul Ryan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Scramble

    Mr. Axelrod pointedly – kept changing the subject – emphasized that President Obama had no issues with the his campaign management team lying about the campaign's relationship with Mr. Soptic and the content of the "Romney – implictily – killed my wife" advertisement. It would really get this race going if Mr. Romney replied with an ad accusing President Obama (through his executive action) and Mr. Holder (through his lack of management oversight) of complicity in the death of the U.S. agent in the Fast and Furious debacle. At least Obama and Holder were on the bridge and in command at the time of those events.

    August 12, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. eroteme

    Being Axelrod has described Ryan as being a right-wing ideologue I wonder if Axelrod might be a left-wing ideologue.

    August 12, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. Larry

    To Hopeandchange: Get a grip – really:)

    August 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. letsbeclear

    This guy burbs while he speaks on TV continuously. Disgusting, who can listen to him do that. His hairpiece fell on his lip.

    August 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. aaron

    These Repubs won't be happy until all the seniors who aren't millionaires get no social security and are living under bridges. Their sole goal is to cut out social security and medicare so the rich won't have to pay any taxes. And, people will line up to vote for them, once again doing what's not in their won best interests.

    August 12, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. Loida

    To become a President is also to protect the environment and people's health that is more important ... Not just greed.

    August 12, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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