Romney, Ryan speak of 'courage' required for entitlement reform
March 30th, 2012
11:02 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney, Ryan speak of 'courage' required for entitlement reform

(CNN) – Whether Mitt Romney's campaign is counting down in days or hours to Tuesday's primary in Wisconsin, it isn't wasting either of them.

Romney and his latest high-profile endorser, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, talked entitlement reform in a Friday night television interview.

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"The reason I'm excited about Mitt Romney's candidacy is because it's very clear to me from all of our interactions that he understands this threat to our country," Ryan said on Fox News. "And he also understands the kind of courage we need to employ to fix these problems before they get out of control."

Ryan's budget, which passed the Republican-led House this week, but is not expected to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, proposes significant reductions to federal entitlement spending. Romney has said he would reduce federal spending by cutting anything not so "critical to our nation's future that we should borrow money from China to pay for it" - a test that he says is in sharp contrast to an "entitlement society" being pursued by President Barack Obama.

This and previous Ryan budgets have come under sharp criticism from Democrats, though Ryan is well liked in the first district of Wisconsin, which he won with 68% of the vote in his last election.

Ryan's endorsement could help Romney in Wisconsin, where polls show him in front of the GOP pack. Romney lost the previous contest, last Saturday's Louisiana primary.

He met with rival presidential candidate Newt Gingrich ahead of that vote, and Romney said the two "speak from time to time."

"I speak with Senator Santorum and Ron Paul from time to time," too, he said. "We get along on a very personal basis. We recognize that we're in the middle of a very challenging primary, but we're going to come together. There's no question in my mind but that you're going to see these four people come together and support whoever our nominee is."

Sitting beside Ryan, Romney brushed aside a question about which of this week's two major congressional endorsers he would favor as his No. 2.

But instead of either Ryan or Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Romney suggested – with a chuckle - former President George H. W. Bush, who gave his official nod to Romney on Thursday. Bush, who served as vice president under President Ronald Reagan, has more experience, Romney and Ryan agreed.

– CNN's Gregory Wallace and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Also see:

Kerry rallies democratic supporters by warning of 'swift boat' redux

Romney, Gingrich held private meeting

Bush asks about son's endorsement

RNC reserves vital cash for eventual GOP nominee

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Wisconsin
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. madmaninthemiddle

    Yes it takes a lot of courage to prey upon the weakest and most vulnerable people in society in order to lavish more upon the rich and powerful. That's why no one in the ruling wealthy elite have ever tried it before.

    Oh and look out your window and you can see pigs fly.

    March 30, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  2. Greyman

    Yes, it is courageous to give even bigger tax breaks to the outrageously wealthy while cutting back on what little the disadvantaged get. Because such bold arrogance with come back to bite them if they succeed.

    March 30, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  3. texan

    They ask for "courage" on OUR part as they rip our middle class asses. ---And I`m talking about the 1%ers.

    March 30, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  4. DEcember 2012

    It doesn't really take much courage to pick on old people who aren't millionaires.

    March 30, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  5. normajean @ verizon ,com

    As a Demorat I am quite disturbed by the Paul Ryan plan which was just approved. In this plan among other things, our medical is once again threatened which is a dire problem for older and unemployed citizens. As I worry about it I wonde r if Republican voters in the same position as I aren't a little worried too because what the politicians have done to the middle and lower economic classes among Democrats applies also to Republicans!!.... ThE people who do this don't care what happens to us as long as they have what they want. This will hurt all of us who have no control.....I think we should all consider this when we vote.....I know I intend to!!!! Repuiblicans, maybe we can help each other if we work together!!!!!please think this through!!!!!

    March 30, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  6. normajean @ verizon ,com

    The "courage" is missplaced to be aiimed at the people behind this bill. The real courage will have to be shown by the people who will suffer from loss of their Medical plan..... What a joke for the politicians to tallk about "THEIR" courage. They don't know the meaning of the word!!!!

    March 30, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    They forgot to add fairness, common sense, and a willingness to compromise. Things these two don't understand or accept.

    March 30, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  8. Donkey Party

    What courage??? The courage to steal from the poor, the elderly, and the middle class to give to their mega-rich masters?

    March 30, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  9. d

    Ryan is a dope period...yeah it takes real courage sir to take from seniors and it takes couragae to call our military leaders they dont know their own minds...bad enough you gop people think that way about women...any one see a corolation with egypt rulers and the gop as pertains to womens rights? pathetic and for all the news coverage romney gets the only thing that I know for sure that he stands for is the wealthy...i guess that must be what Ryan means about courage....

    March 30, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  10. Obama Doubling down on Socialism

    Obama and Democrats want to borrow and spend $169,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to fund welfare state. No problem at all people, right? Because this is how things work in the real world, right?

    March 30, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  11. WhereIsPalin

    Romney, Ryan and Rubio walked into a bar..........................

    March 31, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  12. enuff

    They're right. It takes alot of courage to screw with programs people have paid into and tell them that it's best for them.

    March 31, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  13. Melo-D

    Does it really take courage to take away poor people benefits and give them giant corporations in the form of tax cuts? Willard and the boy wonder make me sick.. They wouldn't know what courage was if it came up and smacked them in the face.

    March 31, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  14. dan5404

    He means the courage to destroy Social Security. medicare and medicaid with yet another attempt to line the pockets of the 1%

    March 31, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  15. Thomas

    Your looking at the the "Romney / Ryan" ticket 2012.

    The New season premier of Mad Men .

    March 31, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |

    More out of control big government spending by the teabaggers.

    March 31, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  17. J.V.Hodgson

    Fed up of smart targeted answers and endorsements coming out at critical times in state elections. All have some effect on usurping the normal process.
    The 2nd attempt at a Ryan budget will meet with the same raspberry from a majority of voters as his last one.
    It is clear yet again that the major beneficiaries of his Budget are the rich and corporates and that the " burden of deficit reduction" is all on the majority of voting Americans.
    The rich can contribute in extra taxes without damaging economic growth. notwithstanding Grover Norquist.

    March 31, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  18. JustSaying2U

    Just how much "courage" is needed to eliminate Grandma's Medicare and Social Security?

    March 31, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  19. Scef

    With each passing day I become more amazed at how out of touch the repubs are. Their narrow views are far from the majority. They think big money will win the election. They are wrong – the people want and will take their country back.

    March 31, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has accepted the Ryan attack on medicare and the $5900 voucher for seniors is now the official Mittens plan. Yet the tax cuts for the wealthy under the Ryan plan, will only add to our national debt. Senior citizens, college students, government workers, etc., will have to once again have to make the sacrifice for the privileged wealthy, big oil, Wall Street, big banks, and defense contractors.

    March 31, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens/Ryan may be a dream team the right wingnuts, but they are a nightmare to the rest of the country and the world.

    March 31, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  22. GonzoinHouston

    It doesn't require courage for a republican to cut Medicare. It takes courage for a republican to raise taxes on the rich. Vice versa for democrats.
    It takes courage to work with the other side, sometimes in defiance of your own side, to reach a compromise that actually does some good. It just takes a handful of courageous people from each side to make it happen. Oh, well.

    March 31, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  23. The Greedy Old PIgs declared class war on US!

    GOBP chickenhawks like Rmoney and Paul "The Undertaker" Ryan should be barred from ever using the word "courage." They don't know what the word means and they clearly cannot be described as courageous merely for proposing policies that shaft the poor and middle class. In GOBP circles standing up and declaring one's support for only the greedy, and not the needy, requires no courage whatsoever. Such statements are now expected as part of the litmus test to screen out all but the most insanely irrational Ayn Rand cultists who now make up the GOBP "party."

    March 31, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  24. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens did not cause the Bush/republican near depression, but President Obama ended it. Now Mittens wants to use the same failed republican economics to take us back there.

    March 31, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  25. Chris

    Courage? Ryan is a sneaky little weasel and Romney is a used car salesman. What do either of these two know about genuine courage?

    March 31, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
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