Paul Ryan to Iowa GOP: Give up 'infighting' for Lent
April 11th, 2014
11:36 PM ET
6 months ago

Paul Ryan to Iowa GOP: Give up 'infighting' for Lent

(CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan called on the Republican Party to unify in a speech Friday, saying it should "give up the infighting" for Lent.

Addressing an Iowa crowd in the pivotal caucus state's GOP Lincoln Dinner, the potential 2016 presidential candidate said Iowa can do the country a favor in the 2014 midterm election "by delivering another Senate seat and by sending more conservatives to Congress."

Amid a heated primary battle on the Republican side to fill the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, Ryan called on the Hawkeye State Republicans to coalesce around whoever the party picks in the June primary.

"Let's give up the infighting. Let's give up the tunnel vision. Let's give up the acrimony," the Wisconsin congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee said.

"The left loves to say that our party is in this big civil war, that we’re tearing each other apart."

While there's a crowded field vying for the GOP nomination, Democratic candidate and state Rep. Bruce Braley faces no serious opposition for his party's nomination. Braley, however, sparked controversy in the state recently after a video clip showed him warning that a Republican takeover of the Senate could leave the GOP's Sen. Chuck Grassley – "a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school" – in charge of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.

At the event, Ryan joked, "Imagine what Chuck Grassley would have done with his life if only he had a law degree."

The Budget Committee chairman's keynote address comes one day after the House approved Ryan's 2015 budget proposal amid protests from some conservatives who argue his plan is not aggressive enough in slashing the size of the federal government.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.


Filed under: Iowa • Paul Ryan
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    I broke my rake, and now I have a tool as worthless as Paul Ryan.

    April 12, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    During Lent, you are supposed to give up something as a sacrifice, on par with Christ's suffering on the cross as a means of gaining compassion for the suffering of others.

    To suggest that the gop give up infighting is offensive and childish – but that pretty much describes Paul, the gop, and the tea bags, doesn't it?

    April 12, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    If Paul is looking for spiritual guidance, perhaps he should heed the words of Sister Simone Campbell (Nuns on the Bus) and her critique of his support of cutting the SNAP (food stamps) budget as being "morally wrong."

    April 12, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @just saying: "yes please focus your fire on the real enemy of this country, the far left leftist/progressive/socialist/communist democrat party. "

    Interesting, given that the right are the ones who believe in economic policies that tank the global economy, pamper the rich who send jobs overseas and cut aid to the most vulnerable among us – including folks like Paul, whose family received Social Security benefits when his father died.

    Why aren't you hammering on Paul to refund us taxpayers for all those dollars his family mooched off of us? He and his mother and family should have suffered the consequences of his father's death, not the rest of us .... RIGHT?

    April 12, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Winston Smith: "If there's one thing the GOP knows, it's that an educated populace is a danger to the GOP. The more people know, the less likely they are to vote for any person running on a republican ticket."

    Yep, and that's why you have repubs calling folks with a college education "snobs" (like Santorum, whose special-needs daughter wouldn't be alive without them).

    April 12, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @angiedavidson75: "Personally, he turned me off when he started discussing the fact that he was a man of principle...I saw how those principles played out as he and Romney unseated duly elected delegates in three states during the last cycle in what could only be called cheating...he will not have my vote."

    Good reminder of just what a snake in the grass Ryan is – thanks!

    April 12, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. don in albuquerque

    just saying

    It's really kinda tough to be a socialist and a communist. However in your infinite wisdom and the alternate universe you reside in, I am certain all things are possible. So why not focus your fire on Centauri One. You do this by using your tin foil hat.

    April 12, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    GOP is out of touch with reality. Very pathetic. None of these guys are worth your dime. Period.

    April 12, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. rs

    Whoa! Give up infighting for Lent! How about something really radical? How about actually working with the President for the benefit of the American People for the first time in 6 years?

    You can banish your terrorist TEA Party later....

    April 12, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. drake mallard

    gop=send in the clowns

    Ryan is not that popular so Wisconsin is not a given. Paul Ryan also took advantage of the very programs he's determined to end and make no mistake, Ryan is ambitious and doesn't care about the middle class. His sights are set much higher.

    April 12, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. rs

    Of course, to give up something for Lent implies that one has a religious belief system- in this case a Christian one. Funny, inasmuch as people like Ryan have utterly failed to perceive the tenants that lie at the core of the New Testament that deal with helping people, taking care of the sick and poor, and instead seem to have become infatuated with the rich, being rich and the creation of rules telling people how to live.

    In other words, people like Ryan aren't Christians, they are charlatans.

    April 12, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    Thomas
    And to think , this guy could have been VP.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    We sure dodged a bullet there!

    April 12, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. emskadittle

    exactly how does he push his ideas of destroying medicare and social security to his base which mainly old people

    April 12, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. rla

    My are the progressives going to need a good therapists when november is over and they have had their collective heads handed to them, senate lost and they know they will not have a chance at notional office for decades... Sorry progressives you can;t demean, slander and lie your way out anymore– YOU ARE FINISHED

    April 12, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Chris-E...al

    Evertime i hear dems quote the bible it makes me fill warm and fuzzy all over .

    April 12, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. EvinAR

    So what are the Jewish GOP supposed to do?

    April 12, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  17. ItSoNlYmE

    Good luck with that Pauly boy...

    April 12, 2014 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. RickFromTexas

    I find it hilarious that Ryan comments on the left thinking the GOP is tearing itself apart. I got news for you, Paulie, it isn't just the left who thinks this way, everyone to the left of you right wing extremists thinks the same thing, too.

    This is yet another sign of how messed up the GOP is and how far they've fallen, they have to practically beg each other to act civilized.

    Remember in November, folks.

    April 12, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  19. BigdaddyUSA

    Politicians are liars and crooks. Do you think they really care about Lent?

    April 12, 2014 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. Tom

    Paul Ryan is in his own world, one that doesn't include people with wisdom.

    April 12, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Vijay

    To me Rand Paul looks gold today.... he is something better than all the other nuts...

    April 12, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. zanny

    So if they give up infighting for Lent, that means for 8 days. Again, you are clueless aren't they on another one of there umpteen breaks????Maybe make this suggestion when Lent actually started and we could of had 40 days of peace and quiet(which by the way will never happen) You have too many big egos that need to see themselves on tv and they also give Fox entertainment network more fodder to feed they nut jobs or as Chris Mathews says "the clown car" Has a week passed that John McCain has not had his face on tv in years??? Infighting keeps Fox going.If they are not actually infighting they say the magic words, Benghazi, Benghazi, Iran, NSA, Irs, or birth control pills or Obamacare and they are off and running each trying to out shout the others PITIFUL!!!!!!

    April 12, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  23. zanny

    correction their instead of there

    April 12, 2014 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  24. Mona

    Here's an idea....get the repubs. in Congress to think things thru instead of voting against every single dang thang the
    Dem's and/or Pres. would like to pass. You don't have to agree on everything...like, give the working man a decent wage, or here's one, take back what you have taken from the poor ie food stamps, or give them the additional weeks
    of unemployment INSURANCE!!!! Also, think about how you can move forward on immigration....all those & more would
    give American's a better feeling for you.

    April 12, 2014 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. don in albuquerque

    Oh yes, Ryan observing Lent. Was this the same Ryan that hid from a bus load of nuns coming to one of his town halls, and the same one that stopped by a Catholic soup kitchen-donned an apron for about a two minute photo op? Couldn't be. Must have been his dumber brother. Forget about being the fleetest of foot men alive.

    April 12, 2014 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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