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. Evergreen

    Ryan stated he was "disappointed" in the outcome of the election because he was looking forward to the "challenges" and his kids were looking forward to a pool. Odd...very odd.

    January 27, 2013 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  2. Lew89839

    His expression seems entitled, repressed, with an eerie, frightened contempt. I expect his central thesis is that there are enough ‘cruel whites’ who like it liked it ‘in their day’ which he reminds them of that he’ll be leveraged onto a national stage in 2016 and the money the rich will throw at him in fear of free peoples will give him a real shot

    If he’s lucky perhaps the Democrats will make an awkward political misstep that he can gravity assist for momentum? But that’s just wishful thinking every aspiring politician hopes for at his age. The same can work against him just as easily if he makes a typical mistake like getting his pee-pee wet with TMZ watching.

    Of course when he’s 70, has throat cancer from HPV sex from a lifetime of enjoying his perks, he’ll change his message. They all do and his has become so predictable it’s both a psychographic and demographic. They so typically finish with a coherent inward passion for humanity and are more concerned with afterlife, their legacy with God than continuing to promote selfish politics for those who leverage them to line their own pockets. Maybe I'll reconsider him them :)

    January 27, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  3. labman57

    The American people are well aware of the policy positions advocated by Ryan and his conservative colleagues ... and the result was a decisive victory for Obama.

    Furthermore, if Ryan wants his Republican colleagues to refrain from criticizing conservative policy proposals, then it would be wise for him and other like-minded extremists to cease promoting ill-conceived and hugely unpopular ideas such as federal "personhood" legislation or privatization of Medicare and Social Security, as well as mathematically-nonsensical and economically-infeasible notions about balancing the federal budget within a decade without increasing tax revenues.

    January 27, 2013 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  4. Skarpnace

    The only thing that will help Republican chances in the future is if they start embracing the diversity that is America instead of demonizing it. The time is gone when one party can count on the vote from one ethnic group or gender and ignore all others.

    After all the gerrymandering of districts and all the Koch money poured into local elections, the Republicans still lost seats in both branches of Congress. The landslide by Obama aside, the fact that Republicans actually lost seats in the House even though Democrats had more seats to lose, should say it all: Republicans need to change.

    Instead, they are doubling down. Their mantra remains: "It is all Obama's fault". I had hoped for better, but not really expected it. Once they realize that the policies enacted by Obama, especially the ACA, are going to be very popular, they will finally realize their doom. It will probably be quite a while before they realize that saying "It is all Obama's fault" when things go wrong also means that "It is all Obama's fault" when things go right.

    January 27, 2013 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Ryan is a liar who last year proclaimed that the federal aid his family received when his father died did not make him a victim, but instead liberated him to pursue his dreams. After he was tapped for the VP spot for Mittens, he suddenly began parroting the GOP stance that 47% of Americans are parasites.

    That's all you need to know about this man ...

    January 27, 2013 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  6. Thomas

    Nugent told the Free Press that he started going to the bathroom in his pants for several days before his draft board appointment so he would be rejected. He was.
    it's impressive how the current generation of GOP are good at doubling down

    Ryan / Nugent 2016

    January 27, 2013 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  7. BeverlyNC

    The Ryan budget will not balance the budget until 2038 AND it destroys every social program from Medicare to food stamps to veteran benefits to the FDA, the EPA, the CDC, all public education funding, all research funding both medical and technology – basically the entire government except a bloated Defense budget and continued corporate subsidies – like oil subsidies to Exxon (who pays no taxes and is the most profitable US company). Not to mention the fact of all the job losses, the hit to the economy, the collapse of the welfare system, healthcare, and seniors with no Social Security or Medicare. It's absurd, the math doesn't add up, and now Boehner is claiming Republicans can balance the budget in 10 years! Economists are laughing at this unachievable ridiculous statement.
    Enough of these Republicans and their cheating, phony math, destruction of our social programs for everyone except the rich and corporations, and obstruction for anything to do with jobs, infrastructure, education, healthcare, and the basic of humanity for the elderly, the poor, children, and veterans. It's time to throw all these extremists out in 2014 and bring in leaders who are sane, care about the American People, and will actually get some serious work done. Republcans have nothing to offer but hate, fear mongering, lies, cheating, and extremist policies completely contrary to most of America.

    January 27, 2013 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  8. Sassafras

    Ryan also expected his budget to be passed. And did I mention the tooth fairy?

    January 27, 2013 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  9. Sam

    When the Democrats are in power and have the votes, they allow the Republicans to continue the ravage of this nation and the people, The Democrats are meek and afraid of their jobs. When the Republicans are in power and in the states, they rape the nation, state and the people. They just control every aspect of the lives of the people. And the Republicans are the party that hate government control. They are the most controlling party. They take away the rights of the states and people to gain more control. Democrats cave into the Republicans, no sense of responsible when in power. We need new parties that are for the people, not for themselves or the lobbyist. This nation has gone a stray

    January 27, 2013 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  10. Tony in Maine

    So far, only Jindal got it right. The Party of Stupid. Barbour's parroting of Jindal's charge was simply sitting on the fence as he always does in the hopes that he will be given the title GOP elder statesman.

    Ryan will disappear after 2014.

    January 27, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  11. BD70

    Go buy your kid a pool. Stop looking to government to supply those luxuries. Oh and it will be a long time before I trust any republicans in congress.

    January 27, 2013 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  12. courtenay craig

    Takers versus Makers: Paul Ryan took his father's social security to go to college (taker); he worked as a "consultant" to his family's business with no other private sector work experience (taker) and; he's passed two bills of his own origin (naming a post office and an arrow shaft tax (not a maker). He's an entitled idiot. Truth is Paul Ryan is a pathetic excuse of a human being and an even worse example of leadership. The fact he is the "voice" or "ideological brains" behind the GOP is a prime example of the ignorance which is so pervasive in the Republican party.

    January 27, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  13. clarke

    "I was looking forward to taking on the big challenges," he said. "My kids were looking forward to having a pool." There are still plenty of big challenges without being VP and as far as the pool goes,, well send the children to the Y and pay for a membership or the local town pool. When I vote, I vote for the entire package of both men, President and VP. Anything happens, that VP could become President, Well I felt better with Biden.

    January 27, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  14. Dave

    Some of these comments are funny. Relax GOP. Obama is really our best friend as our youth get a front seat lesson in Liberalism. Let Obama care simmer. The GOP will be stars in 2016 after folks get a load of whats coming in Obama care :) Half my family will either be unemployed or part-time as a result of Obama care.

    January 27, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  15. MIke

    ...just like Obama's first term helped GOP's chances huh. Yeah right!

    January 27, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  16. A Kickin` Donkey

    The Republicans have historically been better at BUMPERSTICKERISMS than the Democrats. Democrats often fall into the trap of espousing long,bcomplex [yet intellectually superior] arguements for things that go over the heads of some voters.

    If the D`s let the GOP RECLAIM the middle ground they are fools. The Party has moved so far too the right that a smart DemParty will keep them there; actively. Do not let a "MarcoRubio" immigration bill seize that debate.

    Do not let a Paul Ryan approach seize control of the path towards balanced budgets & surpluses.

    Own the JOBS, JOBS, JOBS topic, don`t cede these to the GOP. They have no inherent right to them.

    January 27, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. greenaxe

    Stick with the P90X. Obviously politics do not agree with you.

    January 27, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  18. kmac499

    As the country grows and we pass that 315 million mark with people just how does the Cons purpose to govern a more complex ever changing society–through anarchy? What Cons want is government contols on others not them.

    January 27, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  19. BO Lies

    It already has wit the dems assault on the 2nd amendment. It will be downhill from here.

    January 27, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  20. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oh, I think the second Obama term will truly help Republicans realize that the representatives and senators they elected are a bunch of obstructionists with absolutely no real ideas to help 99% of the American People, and who only get elected to serve the special interests that promote them. It will also make the Republicans realize that they will soon be a minority in the states they control, thanks to migrations of college educated people, plus all the people they have been denigrating for the past couple of decades. Texas will probably be the first to fall, followed by Arizona.

    January 27, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  21. Crismn

    Once more a Republican rooting for the failure of the US; disgusting!

    January 27, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  22. Mike Texoma

    Now J.S.B., that's funny.

    January 27, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  23. Tom

    Read the entire post. Did not see any plans for the 100%. Lets hope that they will vote for the good things that they find and find common ground on the things they don't consider good.

    January 27, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  24. ncalad

    The GOP keep going on about Obama and "big government". Can anyone give me an example of how Obama is expanding government because I can't think of one.

    January 27, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  25. asm_ith

    Cruz said that Republicans "are and should be the party of the 47%" by pursuing policies to better the economic circumstances for that 47%." Romney defined the 47% as people who paid no federal income tax. That included a few thousand people who earned over $1million and tens of thousands of people who earned over $500thousand. Of course, Romney and others defend their low tax rates by saying that they are just following the law, taking all the exemptions and deductions to which they are legally at... Well guess what...all of the people, including the poor who paid no income tax, were doing exactly the same thing, following the law.

    January 27, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
1 2 3 4 5