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. john

    SCOTUS – Why don't you just plan for retirement instead of depend on the government for your health care. Ryan wants to save medicare – Obama is cutting 700B out of medicare. Ryan wants to CUT taxesbecause he understands lower taxes will create more jobs. "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%" The middle calss will benefit. Rising water raises ALL ships. And I know you on the left don't understand this but America IS equal Opportunity but not Equal results...called responsibility

    August 12, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. steve

    Amassing, 20 comments so far and 5 are left wing nuts.
    Just shows either the left wing nuts sleep in late on Sundays, or the country really has waken up to the Socialist obama agenda. As for Axelrod, he's a sick and disturbed idiot.

    August 12, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Pa Mom

    LOL! The GOP is running scared. The fact is Ryan IS a Right Wing Idealogue. He worships at the alter of Ayn Rand and believes greed is good and comes before all else. He wants to gut all social safety nets, raise taxes on the middle class AND cut taxes on millionaires. In short, he wants more of exactly what got us into this mess, and then take it to the extreme by completely gutting the middle class. BEAUTIFUL! Let him run on that! Let Mitt run on that! Let us see how that works out from them.

    For all of you complaining about Axelrod, he's not on the ticket! I don't care how far to the left or right he is! Fact is, Obama and Biden are in the middle. They believe in a balanced approach to fixing the economy. Raising taxes on the 1%, cutting spending across the board, but in a responsible way that does not impact one group more than another..... They are not perfect, but any chance that I would support Mitt (father of Obamacare) went out the door with the pick of Ryan. It's the same as it was in 2008, any chance I would vote for McCain went out the door with Palin. Going to be an interesting election....

    August 12, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. debbie

    As a senior, I would much rather know that I have control over my health. Maybe I won't be able to afford a hip replacement but I would much rather save for it than be told by a panel of 15 people that because I am 88 I can't have one. I think the Dems may be surprised by how many seniors are receptive to the Ryan ideas. And it opens the discussion. Of course, their will be Dems who disagree but AARP backed Obamacare because of their insurance program that makes them money. But many seniors now see that AARP sold them down the river. The Advantage Plan has been taken away by Obamacare and it is a favorite by many seniors. Obama's 8 M slush fund to fund to get it past the election before it goes away has been made known to seniors. We are all feeble minded.

    August 12, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. DG

    Both Romney and Ryan are Romneyhood and Ryanhood. Rob from the poor and middle class to give to the rich.

    August 12, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. debbie

    correction!! we aren't all feeble minded. However we obviously think faster than we type.

    August 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Yeahona

    I'm not sure which is worse – politics, or the people who comment on these articles about it. Either way, its a losing proposition.

    August 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. knucklecheese

    David Axlerod makes Karl Rove look like Fred freaking Rodgers. I put no more consideration into what he has to say than I would Charles Manson.

    August 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. eurekadog

    "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country" – Pres. John F. Kennedy

    !@#% We've become a nation of whiners, babies, golddiggers, lazy good-for-nothings !!!!!

    ANYTIME anyone dares to suggest that we (as a nation) need to get our finances in order, we say, "Amen". Then when it's mentioned that our favorite HANDOUT will be impacted...breakout the handkerchief and tissue and get ready for us to through a hissy-fit because our HANDOUT is more precious than everyone else's HANDOUTS.

    While the generation of my grandfather is called "The Greatest Generation", they also allowed the birth and growth of most of these HANDOUTS we struggle to fund today. It's time for the few true men in this country to stand up and say that we must cust costs ACROSS THE BOARD. Will it hurt? Yes, definitely! But it'll nurt less if we do it now rather than later. Of course, this will require our "leaders" to act like adults rather than children. At this point, I fear our leaders and a large portion of our citizens are children in adult bodies.

    August 12, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Alois

    "Axelrod calls Ryan a 'right wing ideologue'". As apposed to crackhead obama ,your radical left wing ideologue. Does Axleshaft really believe that people care what radical ,destructive left thinks anymore. Note , Axelshaft looks like Rudolph Hess from Adolph Hitlers SS.

    August 12, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. roro

    Why would any rational thinking person want to go back to the party with the policies that brought this country to its knees, and then blocked everything the Dems tried to do to save it?

    August 12, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. WiredweirdinSF

    The only way seniors would be alienated is if they don't actually read what Ryans proposal is and believe people like Axelrod and the most incomptent, inept, corrupt president we have ever had. Look at teh crap the dope addicts are putting out in these statements, it is very clear that they are products of the NEA education system and the liberally biased media that the Oboza regime controls. As far as the "death panel" comment that must come from someone who believed the Obozo lie about Romney killing that guys wife. A thoroughly bebuked ad, but that is what an Obozo suporter is. Kinda dumb and believes every lie the Obozo regime and the corrupt unions put out.

    August 12, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Dave, Central Illinois

    Anyone who believes any words out of the sleeez Axelrod's mouth must be a Lib. How gullable Chicago Dems are for electing Axelrod's twin grifter Emanuel. Hey Libs, I have a bridge to sell you....

    August 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. liberal disease

    and what is Axelrod a left wing idiotlogue, who has a striking resemblance to Hilter and who is quite wealthy himself but never talks about it. lets see his tax retturns

    August 12, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. afnmvet

    Axelrod reminds me of the guy on that old TV show Green Acres. You know thar slimy salesman "Mr. Haney". Mr. Axelrod I am happy that you are so concerned about our budget. Next time you meet with your boss (that would be President Obama) you might ask him why he was not able to actually get a budget through the Senate even though the Democrats have a majority there.

    August 12, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. GetReal

    No surprise that Axelrod believe Ryan's a "right wing ideologue." What's impressive is that his boss has been unable to fly under the radar as the left wing ideologue. While Obama paints himself as moderate, he was ranked the #1 most liberal U.S. senator in 2007. #2 went to his buddy Joe Biden, though to be fair, Biden probably didn't really understand what he was voting on half the time anyway. So, yes, any candidate would be considered "right wing" compared to the radical liberals in office currently.

    August 12, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. DC Observer

    I read mr Axelrod's statement 3 or 4 times. I did not find anything in the statement that detailed how Mr Obama will fix the deficit; reduce the debt; save Social Security; creat jobs, and save Medicare. Did I miss this?

    August 12, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Larry of Massachusetts

    I respectfully suggest to Mr Axelrod that sound bytes and demonizing statements will not fix the problems facing this nation.

    August 12, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  19. Mike

    The poor are getting poorer because they value their bass boats more than getting an education. I have no sympathy for folks that would rather screw off all day and blame everyone else for how bad they have it in life. If they took the time to invest in themselves rather than "stuff" they wouldn't have to worry about their earnings keeping pace with inflation.

    August 12, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Marvin K.

    There are few people on this planet I would rather punch in the face than David Axelrod. He is the epitome of the say-anything mentality of camp Obama, and is more directly responsible for the juvenile tone of this year's election than any other person. I'll be glad to be rid of him.

    August 12, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Gimmeabreak!

    Liberals are stupid. They would rather see Social Security and Medicare go totally bust in a few years instead of trying to fix it before that happens. Typical of the gimme-gimme-now idiots. And by the way, if there is ONE person you REALLY ought to thank for our current mess, it's Axelrod. He single handedly picked Obama and created the teleprompter reading persona surrounded by myth and lies that became the empty suit occupant of the White House. Axelrod, the premier public relations slime guru.

    August 12, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. DaTruth

    Most people don't care who Romney picked – THEY JUST DON'T WANT 4 MORE YEARS OF SOCIALISM. If Obummer gets in again we will be just like Cuba. All the people down in the hood will love the extra medicaid and wellfare bennies.

    August 12, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Super Gus

    Pa Mom, Shouldn't you be occupying something. It appears that you admit to worshiping to the alter of your God – Obama. Obama and Biden are in the middle of what; running the country into the ground? It also appears that you don't understand simple economics. By cutting taxes on JOB CREATORS you add jobs to the private sector – which god (I mean Obama) says is doing well, considering unemployment increased.

    August 12, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. Ancient Texan

    This senior knows full well that robbing from MEDICARE TO FUND Obamacare is not an intelligent decision for seniors. The Dims can twist the facts and misrepresent the plan to save Medicare but seniors are smarter than the Left gives them credit for. If Medicare and Social Security are not reformed, they will just suddenly go away and that would be a disaster.

    August 12, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. Ancient Texan

    Wendy- Good talking points....but totally FAL:SE!

    August 12, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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