Paul Ryan becomes flashpoint in Alabama GOP race
August 7th, 2013
04:13 PM ET
12 months ago

Paul Ryan becomes flashpoint in Alabama GOP race

Washington (CNN) – During the 2012 presidential race, Democrats pilloried Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as an Ayn Rand-quoting conservative loony who wanted to dismantle Medicare and Social Security.

On Wednesday, Ryan was blasted as a liberal, amnesty-loving union suck-up.

Welcome to Alabama.

The Wisconsin congressman made an endorsement in the crowded GOP primary in Alabama's 1st Congressional District, a race that features nine Republicans vying to replace departing Rep. Jo Bonner.

Ryan announced his support Wednesday for Wells Griffith, a Mobile native and former Republican National Committee aide, calling him a "true friend" and "a strong conservative voice."

But it seems Ryan isn't conservative enough for one of the other candidates in the race, conservative writer Quin Hillyer.

Hillyer's campaign unloaded on Ryan, who has worked behind-the-scenes in the House to pass a version of comprehensive immigration reform:

"I have been a longtime admirer of Paul Ryan, but he has increasingly proved to be a disappointment and out of touch with Alabama values," Hillyer said in a statement circulated by his campaign.

"Alabama's economy is dependent on being a right to work state, but Ryan keeps adding to a long record of limiting employee freedom and driving up costs via support for the horrible Davis-Bacon law and other suck-ups to union bosses. I, on the other hand, am proud to have the official endorsement of the National Right to Work organization. And now Ryan is the driving force in the House for amnesty, against the principles laid out by our own Senator Jeff Sessions. If one of my opponents wants a leftward-moving Paul Ryan, he can have him."

A spokesman for the Griffith campaign pointed out in response that Hillyer has the backing of Rick Santorum - like Ryan, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate - who has called for "fair and robust" immigration reform that includes a guest worker program.

Hillyer also pledged earlier this week not to run a negative campaign against his opponents.

So much for that.


Filed under: Alabama • Paul Ryan
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    During the 2012 presidential race, Democrats pilloried Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as an Ayn Rand-quoting conservative loony who wanted to dismantle Medicare and Social Security.
    -----------------
    His most infamous quote of the campaign was about his Ryan Plan. The "plan" didn't balance the annual budget for at least three decades. When asked about what the national debt would be by the time his "plan" began cutting into it he replied, "I don't know. I haven't run the numbers, yet." Seriously, folks. He said it shortly after being announced as Romney's running mate.

    August 7, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. jinx9to88

    Just love how the wacko conservatives eat their own. LMAO. BAHAHAHA

    August 7, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -"Alabama's economy is dependent on being a right to work state, but Ryan keeps adding to a long record of limiting employee freedom and driving up costs via support for the horrible Davis-Bacon law and other suck-ups to union bosses. I, on the other hand, am proud to have the official endorsement of the National Right to Work organization. And now Ryan is the driving force in the House for amnesty, against the principles laid out by our own Senator Jeff Sessions. If one of my opponents wants a leftward-moving Paul Ryan, he can have him."

    Got to love it. I guess Hillyer is the next representative for that district. I can't wait to see him make his first speech on the House floor.

    August 7, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Bubba

    Anyone Conservative enough for Alabama will frighten the American voter into changing the laws in order to allow Obama a third term as President. Alabama still wants their slaves back, cause slavery is Biblical don't you know. Texas and Iowa are thankful for Alabama, so neither of them has carry the label of most regressive State in the Union.
    These die-hard "Conservatives" are the main reason normal Republicans cannot win the Primary, and why the zealots they back cannot win national elections.
    Say hello to President Hillary.

    August 7, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. peppy

    @ rudy, at least he had a plan obam has had no plans but to run up Americas credit card with china, he could shoot someone and you would still follow with your head in his back side, what a brown noser you are, im sure cnn will block this

    August 7, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Tom

    I think this underscores the crisis facing the Republican party. If you stake out a position further to the right than anyone else, you will be praised by a lot of ultra-conservative media outlets. All a candidate looking for attention needs to do is pound his/her fist on the table and declare something (anything really) to be too "liberal," "progressive," or "socialist" and you'll be hailed as a hero. So you wind up with a bunch of primary candidates in a race to be seen as more conservative than anyone else. The result is the party winds up selecting a candidate so crazy they can't win a general election.

    August 7, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    If Paul Ryan,would had been on top of the ticket we might have won. I dont really care for his social issues.but the man is primed for big things. He is the future of the GOP. Not Rubio.

    August 7, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Alabama can choose who they like, but I would hope that they would seriously consider that no immigration reform is going to actually be of benefit to America......but will actually hasten the dictatorial control of the Democratic Party, over America, for now, and forever.

    August 7, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. guyman dude

    I love the right to work nonsense.

    August 7, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Bessy

    peppy

    @ rudy, at least he had a plan obam has had no plans but to run up Americas credit card with china, he could shoot someone and you would still follow with your head in his back side, what a brown noser you are, im sure cnn will block this
    ----------------------------------------------------–
    WOW !! On the " juice " today are we ?
    Grow up and try to understand what is going on in the real world. Not the world of Fox News and Limbaugh and group. What kind of plan is what he proposed when it would take 3 decades to balance out ? DUH !

    August 7, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -peppy

    @ rudy, at least he had a plan obam has had no plans but to run up Americas credit card with china, he could shoot someone and you would still follow with your head in his back side, what a brown noser you are, im sure cnn will block this
    *****************
    Ryan's plan is a perfect example of an ideological solution that would have devastated the country both economically and socially. The math on his plan did not even come close to reality, and it still would have shifted a vast burden onto the middle class that would have only help the very wealthy. Obama has enacted his plans to deal with the kind of "plan" that got us into that mess in the first place. Ryan's budget was shorter than a college research project, and with even less original thought. No details, no analysis, just ideology. What do you expect from a man who has not spent one day as an adult working in the private sector?

    August 7, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But it seems Ryan isn't conservative enough for one of the other candidates in the race"

    I wish I could come up with something soothing to say for Mr. Paul Ryan to cling to. Something all respectful and such ... but I just don't have it in me today. Considering it is his own party member mocking him, I'll just sit back and let him deal with those who don't think he his conservative enough for their, um ... cause. Or, whatever it is that seems to be their problem with Ryan.

    August 7, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Rick McDaniel

    Alabama can choose who they like, but I would hope that they would seriously consider that no immigration reform is going to actually be of benefit to America......but will actually hasten the dictatorial control of the Democratic Party, over America, for now, and forever.
    ******************
    Secede, Ricky, secede! Will you be decked out to march past the Confederate ( loser) statues in Richmond?

    August 7, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    You know, we in GOP need to have a truthful conversation about our poor white brothers and sisters that are stuck in poverty down south. with no education or job prospsects, its kind of hard to swollow asking them to accept mixcans,and other races because they feel their jobs were taken by this same group.

    August 7, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Data Driven

    Actually, J'Cincinnati Redd, that conversation should start with the anti-working-class "right to work" policies infesting red states like Alabama. They call it "employee freedom", but don't you believe it!

    August 7, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. Romney is STILL NOT My Hero

    BWHAHAHAHAH!!!!!! "On Wednesday, Ryan was blasted as a liberal, amnesty-loving union suck-up." You can't make this stuff up, folks. Ryan is being eaten alive by his own kind. Thankfully, he lost along with his bro' – horse-Mitt.

    August 7, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Pander Bear

    What do you want. It's Alabama.

    August 7, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota:
    I wish I could come up with something soothing to say for Mr. Paul Ryan to cling to. Something all respectful and such ... but I just don't have it in me today.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Lynda you can always inquire as to George W's health....all nice and respectful like.
    I will miss our little chats across this thread, but not enough to miss my plane tomorrow!
    Be safe babe.

    August 7, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    Prosperity for Republican lobbyists.

    August 7, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The Teatardic 'Thugs don't know who to blame anymore huh Ryan?
    One minute they're propping you up as their VP candidate, singing your praises, and the next minute you're nothing but a, how did they put it, an increasing dissapointment and out of touch.
    'Thugs Gone Wild.

    August 7, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "Welcome to Alabama."

    Where the derp is just the right height.

    August 7, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. steve

    The right to work................ for peanuts.

    August 7, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    On Wednesday, Ryan was blasted as a liberal, amnesty-loving union suck-up.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Sooo, does that mean they don't like his budget either?
    Boy, talk abut kicking a brother to the curb.
    Sounds like the 'Thugs are done using you too Ryan.
    Like a plague of locusts consuming anything they think will give them a few more hours of relevant political life these GOPeeing Teatards are.
    Then tossing the useless carcass to the side while they move on to their next prey.

    August 7, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |