Ryan expects second Obama term to help future GOP chances
January 26th, 2013
02:40 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan expects second Obama term to help future GOP chances

(CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, joined the voices laying out a path for the future of the GOP, saying in a Saturday speech that President Barack Obama's second term presents both new challenges and opportunities for his party.

"In the president's first term, we argued against big government in theory. In his second, we will argue against it in practice," he said at a summit of conservative leaders organized by the National Review Institute, a group connected to the conservative magazine. His prepared remarks were posted online by the organization.

"Now that the president is implementing his agenda, we'll see that the benefits are far less than advertised," he added.

Ryan called on his party to exert "prudence" and "find the good in every situation - and choose the best means to achieve it."

While noting intraparty disagreements are to be expected, he urged party members to take their disagreements behind closed doors and "challenge the left, not each other."

"A healthy debate is a good and needed thing. We can deliberate in private without fighting in public," Ryan said.

His comments were not as fiery as those Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal delivered at the Republican National Committee's Winter Meeting this week. Jindal blasted the GOP for "being the stupid party" and said Republicans must stop "insulting the intelligence of voters" to win future elections and partisan battles.

Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas echoed Jindal's themes in his speech at the NRI forum, which he appeared to deliver without notes.

"I'm going to suggest two words that every Republican should have tattooed on their arm to read in every speech: growth and opportunity," he said.

Later he invoked a phrase unsuccessful GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney used to describe a bloc of voters who would not support Republican candidates. "If you could sum up went wrong last election, I think it comes down to two words, '47 percent.' By that I don't mean that ill-fitted comment," Cruz said, describing Romney as a "decent man" who had a "slip of the tongue."

Republicans, Cruz said, "are and should be the party of the 47%" by pursuing policies to better the economic circumstances for that 47%.

As the opposition party but with control of the House of Representatives - which Cruz called the "last bastion standing between us and oblivion" - the GOP should "use leverage points to make real progress on the fiscal and economic crisis facing this country."

"We can stop bad things," he said. "Stopping bad things is significant."

Cruz, Jindal and Ryan are considered likely 2016 presidential candidates. Other prominent GOP voices to speak at the event include Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell; former Sen. Jim DeMint, who resigned this year to lead the conservative Heritage foundation; and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who currently serves as the state's attorney general.

Ryan's prescription for Obama's second term: "mitigate bad policy" and "advance good policy wherever we can."

"We will explain how our vision differs, how it rests on vibrant communities, how it increases social mobility," he said.

Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said he will pursue "reforms to protect and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid" as well as look at tax reform.

But with Republicans being limited in their Washington influence, Ryan allowed they should look around the country as "the front lines of reform are the states."

Republicans hold an advantage in statehouses with 30 out of 50 governorships.

Ryan, who stood alongside Romney in the run for the White House, said he was "disappointed" at the outcome of the election.

"I was looking forward to taking on the big challenges," he said. "My kids were looking forward to having a pool."


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • Paul Ryan • Ted Cruz • Wisconsin
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Mike

    OH, yes. Let,s run the next election the same way as the last. The win will be giantic. ! ! !

    January 26, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. R H

    Blind leading the blind. Enchanted Kingdom's crown clown. Ryan looks natural washing pots and pans. Seemed very content. Come on Wisconsin send him to the soup line where he belongs. Forrest for the trees mentality.

    January 26, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. Big Henry

    Ryan said the Republicans lost because of miscommunication. Rush claims Reagan said that Republicans always win if their program is communicated properly. Ronald Reagan is the only Republican who communicated their message properly and he's dead. Looks like they're still screwed!

    January 26, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. annette

    hey ryan – that depends on how many republicans are voted out in 2014. i can't believe you repubs are still trying to make obama look worthless after obama beat you at your own game. lol couldn't get rid of him then so now you are going to fight against him. we the people will remember.

    January 26, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Martha in CF

    Ryan lost in 2012 with his policies, why would he think 2016 would be any different. The redumblicans have a LOT of changing to do if they think they have 2016 wrapped up. It appears to me the only way they think they can win is if they cheat their way to a win. What happen to getting a good candidate to run and having a good debate so the people can vote in a fair election.. I cringe to think, now knowing that Romney really didn't want to run, that Romney would be sitting in the White House and really not wanting to be there....scary when you think about it!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. Patrish

    As time goes by, the Republicans will appeal to less and less people. There whole goal was to beat Obama – how'd that work for you? There goal should have been what could they offer the American people. They just don't get it. They think that by changing voting sectors they will win more. That's probably going to backfire on them too!

    January 26, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    Well I'm sure it will with all the gerrymandering they are doing. Anyone expecting that party to change is going to be sorely disappointed. They see how many votes Willard got and it gives them hope. Just disenfranchise voters in several states and bam, they've won. Democrats need to be vigilant.

    January 26, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. Bob

    Bagger Cruz will wreck the GOP single handedly.

    January 26, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. Ken

    Ryan thinks his economic plan will actually help the economy, soooooo...

    January 26, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. Freesater

    Unfortunate for the GOP they still don't understand the middle class people and they will not in the near future. They are wrapped up against the hardworking middle class, abortion, gay rights and the bedroom.

    January 26, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. Edward

    I like when the republian party fights among itself. It is sort of like the Taliban fighting Al Qaeda.

    January 26, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. brad

    I'm sure he and his fellow Republicans will be working hard to do continue on trying to make Obama "a one term President".

    January 26, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. josephine

    Cruz says his party is the only thing standing to stop the country from oblivion. Hasn't he been reading the news lately ? Dow Jones up/ unemployment down. The Tea Party if filled with nutcases. Bobby Jindal was right, their party should stop insulting the voters intelligence.

    January 26, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. Bill in Florida

    Given that Ryan lost his HOME CITY and state to Obama/Biden in 2012, and that Ryan was surprised by the loss, I don't understand why CNN is listening to this guy anymore.

    January 26, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. BobinCO

    "Ryan's prescription for Obama's second term: "mitigate bad policy" and "advance good policy wherever we can."

    May I please sit on the committee that determines, for each and every American citizen, what the vocabulary words "good" and "bad" mean?

    "We will explain how our vision differs, how it rests on vibrant communities, how it increases social mobility," he said.

    Finally. He's on board with the bullet train.

    ...said he will pursue "reforms to protect and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid"

    My god, as if we don't have memories before last week.

    The Republican weirdos grabbing at the mike this week really are revolting. Are there no Huntsman-like human beings left in the GOP? I'm starting to believe that they really are in some deep doo.

    January 26, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. rs

    Mr. Ryan- as the rest of the GOP and the NRA (just to cite an example why Ryan's reasoning is wrong) have failed to accurately gauge the anger of the majority of Americans over senseless gun violence. 1,300 Americans are dead in the last 5 weeks! The insulting NRA response- now defended by the like of Ryan is: "accept it- it is just like other accidental deaths"-as if we can just turn our backs on 20 dead first-graders, and say "yeah, that happens". They utterly failing to see that not fixing the problem means that in effect they would rather support the rights of homicidal gun users, than our own lives, or the lives of our kids.
    This is just one of the many, many reasons the GOP is DOA- it now just serves lobbyists (like the NRA)-NOT the American people.

    January 26, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  17. Stephen in VA

    Well, at least he acknowledged the agenda for the Party of NO: "We can stop bad things. Stopping bad things is significant."

    And... "to better the economic circumstances for that 47%." How funny is that? "Here, little poor people. Here is a nice job over at that great big retailer that we're giving massive tax breaks to so they'll hire as many of you at minimal wages as possible."

    January 26, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. Carl

    What GOP has to do is embrace policies that are more attractive to voters than those policies of Democrats. If they can't do that, they lose the House in 2014. Period.

    January 26, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. donna

    Neo-cons keep the GOP locked out of the WH. The Republicans are finished until they come to grips with this problem. Ryan has not done this.

    January 26, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Ancient Texan

    Steven in Colo- Ever hear of Dodd and Franks and their assurances of how sound Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were? The housing bubble and bad loan to folks who could never afford them brought the economy down.

    January 26, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  21. ohio

    to L–you are right. I have voted for a long time now and it seems every time a republican admin.
    is in the economy goes down the drain–they don't want to admit it but dems are actually much
    better at fixing the economy than they are.

    January 26, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. clarke

    Wow, these guys don't stop, have they not heard a word the American voters have spoken.

    January 26, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. Vern

    You know what your future should be, Mr. Ryan? Stop being the "small tent party",and start pursuing traditional Republican policies of years gone by, like supporting Civil Rights, welcoming blacks, women, Hispanics, gays, as your party did in the days of moderation before Ronald Reagan. Stop being so ideological rigid that you only cater to a ever shrinking core of voters. Throw out the Tea Party, and eviscerate the power of Evangelicals within your party, that fill your party with hate, bigotry and ignorance. Welcome educated people again, who can think of moderately conservative ideas to counter liberal Democratic ideas, instead of holding the belief that if someone is intelligent, they don't fit the GOP. Stop being so worshipful to the military, and remember THEY work for US, not the other way around. And stop being such an angry, pissed off party.

    If you do these things, people will start voting for you. But if you don't, and continue down your narrow, ignorant path, your party will die off within the next 30 years.

    January 26, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. texasnotea

    The GOP should have two things tattooed on their arms, Goodbye and farewell!!

    January 26, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. CAWinMD

    Republicans can talk all they want in the abstract about being for the "47%", but they have yet to translate that into real policies that have any meaning for those same people. Turning Medicare and Medicaid into a voucher program will not help the 47%. Making it harder to join a union will not help the 47%. Reducing the debt will not help the 47% if the reductions are in the very programs that the 47% rely on to get by. They think all these things will make the economy go again, and a rising tide will lift all boats. The problem is that not everybody's boat has been getting lifted over the past 30 years. Fix that, and you have a prayer. But Republicans are unwilling to do that.

    January 26, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
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