August 12th, 2012
09:30 AM ET
10 years ago

Axelrod calls Ryan a 'right wing ideologue'

(CNN) – A day after Mitt Romney named Rep. Paul Ryan his running mate, the Democratic attack line on the newly minted Republican ticket centered on Ryan's budget proposal and his conservative stance on social issues.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser David Axelrod said the president felt Ryan, while 'genial,' would drive Medicare, the government-run health care program for seniors, into the ground.

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"I think he thinks he's a perfectly genial and bright guy, he just thinks his theory is wrong," Axelrod told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "Congressman Ryan is a right wing ideologue, and that's reflected in the positions he's taken.

Axelrod went on to list points of Ryan's House GOP budget proposal – which Obama himself called "thinly veiled social Darwinism" at a luncheon in April – that he claimed were on the extreme end of the political spectrum.

The $3.5 trillion Ryan budget plan seeks to stem ballooning federal debt and deficit by slashing spending and reforming Medicare and Medicaid. The House GOP plan also calls for a reduction in individual tax rates and brackets. Instead of today's six brackets, with rates from 10% to 35%, it calls for just two - 10% and 25%. The proposal would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, while dropping the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%.

"He's quite extreme. A good person, a genial person, but his views are quite harsh," Axelrod said.

Obama's adviser said the president had already taken steps to ensure Medicare would remain fiscally sound, despite an influx of retirees signing up for benefits, including by eliminating "waste, fraud, and abuse" from the system and promoting "better delivery of care."

"These are the ways to save Medicare, not by a Trojan horse that will ultimately spell its demise," Axelrod said.

The choice of Ryan, which Romney unveiled Saturday at a rally in Norfolk, Virginia, wouldn't ultimately make much of a difference in the race for the White House, Axelrod predicted.

"I think it's helped further define the race, I don't think its shaken up the race because Gov. Romney has embraced many of the positions Congressman Ryan espouses, as extreme as they sound," he said.

The two Republicans, Axelrod asserted, held similar positions on issues that many Americans find extreme.

"I think they are kindred spirits on some of these policies, and certainly on these social issues they have come together banning abortion and so on, but I don't think these are mainstream positions in the country," Axelrod said.

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Filed under: David Axelrod • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Ben

    There is a lot that could be said and because Ryan is such a good person, the negative adds are going to have to be really slimey. It is all about fear on Axlerod's part.

    August 12, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. CalDude

    Q: If Ryan is an ideologue, than what is Axelrod?
    A: A goon

    August 12, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  3. Mike

    If Ryan's a right wing ideologue, what does that make Axlerod? A left wing wacko? This guy's a joke and he reminds me of a sleazy used car salesman.

    August 12, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. Erik

    I disagree, I think Ryan's ideas are so insanely righ that the GOP just alienated seniors, the poor and all but the extreme RW of the middle class. Romney just gave away the race. He was a poor choice as president but Ryan apparently just likes the rich and hates anyone in need, which frankly so off base what a human should feel towards other.

    August 12, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  5. Sarah

    Ryan's budget is so extreme, even most Republicans shied away from it. Then again, what do you expect from somebody who said that the greatest philosopher of the 20th century is Ayn Rand, Ms. "Greed is Good" herself.

    August 12, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  6. Dave NY USA

    "Axelrod calls Ryan 'right wing ideologue'"
    Yeah, now maybe we can unphuque the country, huh, Axel?

    August 12, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. Gord

    Good choice.... For the democrats that is. They will get few votes from senior citizens and they always vote..

    August 12, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. SCOTO

    Sure looking forward to getting my "vouchers" when I'm old and sick.

    August 12, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. Toneo

    Axelrod will say and do anything to try to take the focus off Obama's failed record. Fear is the correct word and rightly so...

    August 12, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  10. Independent from New Hampshire

    @Ben. Please check your spelling. The republican in you is showing not only through your ideology but your grammar as well. Adds, by definition, increase something in amount, number, or degree. That has nothing to do with negativity toward Ryan.

    August 12, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. gt

    axlerod looks like the caroon figure clyde crashcop....but acts like the bluto....he is the chicago hit man for sure...

    August 12, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. justaminit

    This choice now defines the choices in this upcoming election. Romney has shifted farther to the Right because of their rejection of him as a candidate. There is no moderate position from the Republican Party now. The American voter will make the choice, no matter how many talking points are pushed. Oh yeah, let's see those tax returns Mitt.

    August 12, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. mark

    It is AMAZING to see how things have changed is 2008. Back then, if you heart the word "extreme" or "radical" was always focused at Obama. But now, I hear it being thrown at those on the right. Obama was a "socialist", now Ryan is a "Darwinist". Both are young, handsome, friendly guys.

    At some point, someone is going to call them the American Taliban...and it will get ugly.

    August 12, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. LWJR

    After 4 years of LEFT WING IDEOLOGUE, we need to get back on course. Axelrod, Obama, Rahm Emmanuel, Janet Neopalitano, Steven , Joe Biden, and Bill Clinton's Ghost (Hillary, hate men much) have driven this country into LIBERAL Debit and Foreign Policy incompetence. 4 more years of Chicago-blago style politics, this country cannot afford.

    August 12, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  15. kevin

    Here we go....Paul Ryan is exactly what the dems did not want to see because it will refocus everyone on the economy and the budget (which Reid and the dems haven't passed in over 3 years). So out comes the tar brushes and Ryan is out to kill Grandma and Medicare. Axelrod forgot his boss is the one taking $500-$700 billion from Medicare and putting it in Medicade so everyone can have health insurance. So who really is throwing Granny under the truck here? Ryan's idea on Medicare is just a starting point not an end point. The dems hate his budget because oh my gosh it cuts spending!

    August 12, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. Xavier

    The Rich will get Richer an the middle class an poor will join to be the same POOR. I just do not want to believe the American people will want to cut the poor an give to the rich. I live on SS an got my local Real Estate an Personal Tax's for the country that I live in this week, last year it was tuff an this year will be tuffer. You tell me Romney feels my pain, I bet he never had to wait for his next SS CHECK to purchase a quart of MILK. Romney/Ryan is BAD for this country an if you think not go ahead an vote for them then you will have to wait for your next months SS CHECK to get your quart of MILK.

    August 12, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Darryl

    Romney & Ryan just gave the President his re-election on a Silver Platter. Just wait, by Sept you'll see the Polls shift even further to the left big time. Ryans already shown his cuts to fix the economy and his stand on Medi-cal & Social Secutiry. Education is another one he says he will cut all Pell Grants to 1.6 million college students. This guy ( T-Party ) congress man wasn't a good choice. But the hand has been delt and the food has been served. President Obama has been given a Silver Platter for his Re-election as of Yesterday.

    August 12, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Mr. Conservative

    You think Axelrod would agree with Ryan on issues? Of course, he's going to say anything he can to divert attention to the devastation that the Narcissistic Community Organizer has wreaked on this country.

    August 12, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. Stoney

    The exteme negative comments coming from the Obama's camp; Ryan must be fearsome foe for them.

    August 12, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Anonymous

    The whole Democratic campaign so far seems to be run on Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. All I have seen is negative attack ads instead of highlighting what they will do to fix the mess we are in.

    August 12, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. larry5

    Axelrod is going to have to step up his game. He's paid for results, not civility and he's paid a lot, more than anyone in a similar position in the history of American politics.

    August 12, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. DaveF

    I want to thank Romney for the early Christmas Gift by picking the new "Death Panel" Ryan. By this choice he solidified his losing the election. Just another question – The Obama haters will have solidified their demise also. I guess they are all part of the 1 percenters. If not they will be voting against their self-interest(s.) This election will cease to be close with Obama "creaming" Romeny/Ryan.

    August 12, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Wendy

    This election isn't about who Paul Rran is personally – it's about what he stands for –
    -Kill Medicare as we know it
    -Raising taxes on people who earn up to $200k and lowering taxes on people who earn more.
    -Privatizing Social Security

    August 12, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. vic , nashville ,tn

    One county couldn’t open his schools on time because it don’t have enough funds, many parents affected by this situation most of them middle class whites

    This is my point Romney & Ryan polices send Middle class to poor and uneducated

    August 12, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. mark s ducharme

    I checked the definition of ideologue. Another word with a bad reputation. Like liberal. That was changed to "progresive" to improve it's image. The truth is I like "ideologue". It shows conviction, belief in what one stands for. I can trust a true ideologue. I may not agree with them but atleast they're honest. So thank you axelrod for pointing out that Ryan is honest and has belief in what he stands for.

    August 12, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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