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. John the Historian

    Why do Republicans always mouth their same old drivel of innocuous causes.Republicans need to admit they are only the party of the Christian Right who want oto ban all abortions even in cases of rape and incest, the military-industrial complex who want endless wars, the corporate elite who want bonuses and bailouts for losses and the billionaires who want to continue not paying their fair share of taxes. Republicnns hopefully will nominate Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann so they will go down to utter defeat. Everyone knows they only control the house because of gerrymandering. Hopefully the Supreme Court will have some conservative retirees and then we will have national health care, Gay marriage, overturning of Citizens United, and the end of eminent domain.

    January 26, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. mdn

    Republicans are the party of 47%. Unfortunately for them, the democrats were the party of 53%... the party that won the election.

    January 26, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. sbkilb

    Ryan will go nowhere in the GOP he had his chance,Jindal can't stand up to the big boys,and Cruz is just for effect.Bottom line the GOP does not have a chance in 2016 by then FAUX News will have filed for bankrupsy,Limbaugh will have overdosed on something just won't be the same for them

    January 26, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  4. mike 1200

    Still singing the same old song hoping it is result in grammy award with zero record sales. Yes please keep the same message for the next four years, assures democratic victory in 2016.

    January 26, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  5. Ken

    If Cruz and Ryan want to do something good for this country, then they should resign.

    January 26, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  6. mario

    As a Hispanic I'm watching Republicans continue to make a fools of them self, They are NOT willing to work for the American peaple. It's all about the Republican Party. In the past two election they have worked so hard to try to take our vote away. So I say to ALL MY FELLOW HISPANIC we rose to the challenge in 2012 and now that the SLEEPING GAINT is AWAKE let come together and VOTE these RACIST REPUBLICAN out of office in 2014. WE will have our FREEDOM and RESPECT.

    January 26, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  7. smithdp

    Uh wasnt this the guy who showed up late for a photo op at a soup kitchen and then pretended to clean a pot for the cameras? Or did I dream that?

    January 26, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. Nicholas

    So basically they want to keep to the same old policies under the same old people and ignore the changing demographics which rejected them in 2012. Thats a good thing. Just keep thinking the way you did in 2012 guys and you will have the same or increasingly worse results. Bravo!!!

    January 26, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  9. Mm

    Ryan is further to the right on women's issues than his bill co-author, Todd Akin.....that's bordering on being demented...if not already there....Women make up 52%+/- of registered voters.

    Ryan's previous budget proposal and his current one now would give tax cuts to the rich by severely cutting medicare and Medicaid. Just one example of how that be a problem....Millions of seniors in assisted living and nursing homes across the country rely on both of those for their care. Without them, as is, Millions of thir adult children will be forced to take them in, pay out of pocket for astronomical care...not to mention the time, security, and proper upfitting to their quarters that would be necessary care 24/7. all because a few billionaires would like a little extra pocket change at their expense.

    January 26, 2013 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. TM

    Maybe Ryan should go back and read the Grand Old Tea Party's new bible, the one written by Ayn Rand, and see if he can come up with a new strategy for winning elections. As for standing up for the 47%, Ryan and his party had their chance during the last election and Willard Romney explained the Republican position quite eloquently. That was NOT a slip of the tongue recorded on that tape. NOBODY takes a position that detailed by accident, and they DON'T take several minutes to spell it out. Republicans DO have a problem. But it's not in the White House, and it's not with the overwhelming majority of voters who have grown tired of the GOP's lies, obstruction, and immaturity. By all means, they should put their own house in order, but they should take care to leave the rest of us alone and at peace while they do it.

    January 26, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  11. Al

    I guess we will see how great of shape O gets us in 4 yrs from now.........Be ready for some big tax hikes for all, no way around it.......

    January 26, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. CW

    Ryan expects second Obama term to help future GOP chances? He is whistling through the graveyard.

    January 26, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  13. Liz the First

    What Ryan considers the bad that they need to mitigate is actually what the American people voted for; fairness in our tax system, equality for all Americans, not just white, straight, Christian men, responsibility in business, clean air, women's rights. the republican party will always be against these things. they may start pretending they're not, but don't listen to what they say, WATCH WHAT THEY DO!!! it's not a choice between big government and small government, it's between GOOD government and NO government.

    January 26, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  14. Rina

    This guy is a piece of work. His Road Map to 2008 includes cutting medicaid and NOW he says he wants to REFORM medicare and medicaid. Which is it?

    January 26, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  15. The_Mick

    Because of the GOP, the number of government jobs has been declining during a recession when people without jobs get paid by the government anyway. So it's not been "in theory," it was to make the Dems look bad and get more Republicans elected in the next election. And WHEN has the GOP actually tried to reduce government when IT has been in power?

    January 26, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  16. Bob

    Ryan is a practical, prudent conservative voice of reason. Really respect this guy. We need more leaders like him.

    January 26, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  17. Peter Q Wolfe

    None of the G.O.P e.g. Tea Party tells of the cost of growth and opportunity that being outright eliminatio of the safety net. I'm sick and tired of his rosey picture of vouchers for Medicare or block granting Medicaid like that won't inflict untold suffering on our own people? Get out of here with that garbage cause they won't tell us the truth.

    January 26, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  18. norma jean

    The only way that the Obama presidency will help the GOP is if the Repubs finally decide to be a part of this countrys government and begins to work with the president and the Democratic party......otherwise they will find themselves slipping away into general obscurity!!!! This is a two party system and it's time that McConnell and Ryan start to realize that .

    January 27, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  19. onemorehere

    I see something good coming out of helping out the 47th% policy- isn't that why? Obama won the elections? based on this promisse...if the Gop accept the chanllenge of representing the 47% who supported Romney that's a start of a good thing...I deducted that 47% were supporting Obama but for some reason that prediction reversed itself...

    January 27, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  20. Russ

    Ryan hasn't been right about much, so why would anyone listen to him now?

    January 27, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  21. Gina

    If he speaks for the republican party like is titan (as described by CNN ) partner Rand Paul – GOP will lose – and I can't wait. Americans need to watch the "rigging to win" approach to our next elections – what a dirty group!

    January 27, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  22. Squigman

    What planet are these people from? Do we not all speak the same language? What part of (you are screwed up), does the republican party not understand? You can not run a country on ideology and theology. It will not work. And apparently they (the republicans), have little sense of right and wrong, up or down, whats positive and whats negative. They're lost in space.

    January 27, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  23. Tariq

    The GOP is going to dissolve and then evolve. It needs to be a Grand New Party. It's not that the conservative policies are off-putting to the largess of Americans. It's just that most Americans believe what they are spoon fed by the biased media of today. The false spin constantly permeating media culture and spat into the living rooms of your average uninformed voter (this is to say most voters) paints a picture of a party that is composed soley of old racist white guys who'd like to catapult society back into the pre World War era of mindset and technology, a far-fetched ruse that actually works on the uninformed. It's sadly going to take the current administration's radical policies and Constitutional shortcomings to awaken the sleeping sector of Americans who really value true freedom. This includes both self-declared conservatives AND liberals. Liberty. Conservation. Think about it. A third party has never been needed more. If Ron Paul's isolationist stance has kept him out of the Presidency, maybe a new younger voice will hit the nerve needed to awaken the masses from the utter mediocrity of the current leadership. The dominant media of today certainly isn't going to preserve the values that made America great.

    January 27, 2013 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  24. J.V.Hodgson

    The front line is the states.... what he means is step 2 of gerry mandering the election of the president by changing electoral college votes allocations.
    If you look at the debt at the end of Bush II the causes were 2 unfunded wars Plus increased defense spending and the tax cuts were the largest chunk by far.On discretionary spending he set up homeland security and that now runs an $80bn cost p.a. Shall we note that Bushes 8 years despite taxcuts to "Job creators" had the worst Job increase of any recent president. Those policies still impact the Obama deficits numbers but heis a) getting out of wars b) has increased taxes " reasonably on the rich" which will not damage employment or consumer spending or GDP but can reduce the budget deficit, QED debt.
    Now ryan talks health care spending and entitlements again as he did in his pre election plan with Mitt and both that and his budget plan got the finger from we the people... and he still advocates the same.
    He totally ignores conveniently defense and the Sequester.
    time for both sides to sit down ( not play games over benghazi) and come up with a plan to avoid the sequester in a more reasonable way, and that meamns still looking at taxes mainly corporate taxes and loophole closing but also capping Income tax allowances or as Romney proposed saying you have X$000 and choose which ones you claim.
    Defense spend cuts are essential to lower deficit and increasing debt. After that economic growth including job creation( infrastructure stimulus) will fix the rest.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    January 27, 2013 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  25. rswon

    The Republicans showed their true colors when they blocked flood aid for Hurricane Sandy victims. It was a one page bill allocating $9 Billion. It's strange how the party of "family values" didn't want to help families in need. A $1 Billion Veterans job bill was blocked by the Republicans because according to them "the US couldn't afford it.". But, they had no problems allocating TRILLIONS to send the people to war in the first place. Yup, the Republican party has such a great future.

    January 27, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
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