Ryan equates Wisconsin protests to Egypt
February 17th, 2011
10:14 AM ET
12 years ago

Ryan equates Wisconsin protests to Egypt

Washington (CNN) - Republican Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan compared the protests in his state's capital to those in Egypt that led to the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

"He's (Gov. Scott Walker) getting riots, it's like Cairo's moved to Madison these days," Ryan said Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Thousands protested in the capital city Tuesday and Wednesday over a bill that would strip Wisconsin public employees of most of their collective bargaining rights and have them pay dramatically more for benefits.

Walker said he is dealing with a budget crisis, which includes a $137 million shortfall, and Ryan supported the newly elected Republican governor, saying he's "not asking a lot."

"He's basically saying I want you public workers to pay half of what our private sector counter parts are, and he's getting riots," Ryan said. "People should be able to express their way, but we've got to get this deficit and debt under control in Madison if we want to have a good business climate and job creation in Wisconsin."

According to Walker's press secretary, Cullen Werwie, the controversial legislation is expected to reach the state Senate on Thursday and, possibly, the Assembly (lower chamber) on Friday.

- CNN's Phil Gast contributed to this report

Filed under: Paul Ryan • Wisconsin
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. CNN The Masters of Spin

    If you think WI is bad.....just wait until it hits DC and all the Welfare/Entitlement recipients realize that their "check" may get cut.....talk about it hitting the fan! Teachers and all other Gov (state and Fed) should not be guarnteed full retirements for life unless they pay at least a matching amount!
    But really the best thing to do is get a Real JOB!

    February 17, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. gar

    The people in Wisconsin are not rioting. They are peacefully protesting the assault against them by the Republican job killing machine in which Ryan is a major player. Quit lying Congressman.

    February 17, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Laverne

    OMG, republicans are such drama queens! This is nothing like the Egypt situation, picketing because of wages and job loss is a far crime from fighting for democracy and fighting for your freedom and some being killed in the process.

    February 17, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. vic nashville tn

    Egyptians start to see the world (thanks to internet) 71% literacy rate and standard living is poor so they start to protest

    Wisconsin protest saying “You( government) made the mess then why are you punishing us”

    February 17, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. shadysider

    The Republicans do have a point when it comes to the difference in private sector and public sector and the retirement compensations. Publicly funded pensions need to end. They need to revert to 401Ks, the same as private sector workers.

    February 17, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I think it's a disgrace to compare American citizens to the citizens of Egypt or any other country. Ryan is using Glenn Beck's lunatic points, Egypt is a country, Wisconsin is a state and the people are protesting against a bill and not to overthrow the government. Republicans couldn't start a war in Egypt so I guess they plan on starting one right here at home, disgraceful.

    February 17, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. DRCinDC

    Ryan has got this one backwards. Those protesters are the government hacks protesting more for themselves at the expense of the citizens. Where are the water guns in Madison?

    February 17, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. marty

    There is also a controversy on whether or not the Wisconsin 'leaders' are cooking the books to their advantage. Sure hope someone investigates. None of these actions seem to be aimed at working to create more jobs. JOBS, not a hard word to spell Misters Ryan and Walker.

    February 17, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Don Beal

    This is odd. Ryan is a Republican and so is the governor. Is he suggesting that, like Mubarak, Walker should resign?

    February 17, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. rachel

    where is the video? i read its 15,000 people, thats a lot of people. Video front page come on lets see it! Go USA.

    February 17, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. brad

    This "budget repair bill" is not about money. This is an all out assault on the human rights of state employees!

    February 17, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Greg in Arkansas

    Seems pretty easy to cut SOMEONE ELSE'S benefits, why not give up YOUR Congressional perks and match what you are asking state employees to pay?

    February 17, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. John in Dayton

    Crisis or no crisis, it's not right to balance the books on the backs of hardworking people. I don't see one thing in news coverage of the Wisconsin issues that indicates the state or business is going to sacrifice anything. It's all about busting the unions, based on what I can see.

    February 17, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. ConservaFascists

    Egypt has nothing on us. You think the protest in Wisconsin are bad now, you ain;t seen nothing yet!!! You ConservaFascists are waging war on the middle class. Well, the middle class is going to start a second American Revolution if you ConservaFascists keep pouncing on us and trying to destroy our unions. Stop robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    February 17, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Video Guy

    Maybe its bad leadership, oh no, cannot be, this clown is one of the leaders.

    February 17, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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