Ryan adds his criticism for Obama's 'secretary of business'
November 1st, 2012
05:52 PM ET
8 years ago

Ryan adds his criticism for Obama's 'secretary of business'

Greeley, Colorado (CNN) - In Colorado Paul Ryan added to the chorus of criticism against President Barack Obama for suggesting a "secretary of business" cabinet-level position be created.

Obama floated the idea during an MSNBC interview on Monday, before Superstorm Sandy made landfall, so the Republican presidential campaign waited days to go after their Democratic challenger.

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On Thursday they pounced with an ad, and Mitt Romney and his running mate mocked the proposal at separate events.

"You know, we already have a secretary of business. It's actually called secretary of commerce," Ryan said at a rally in Greeley, Colorado. "Let me ask you a question: can anybody name our current secretary of commerce? You know why? We don't have one! It's been vacant for over four months and the president hasn't even proposed to put somebody in the job."

During his interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," the president said he wanted to "consolidate a whole bunch of government agencies" that deal with various types of American businesses.

"We should have one secretary of business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like getting loans to SBA [the Small Business Administration] or helping companies with exports," Obama said Monday. "There should be a one-stop shop."

The Romney-Ryan campaign framed the remark as another attempt at big government from the Democratic incumbent.

"We don't need another bureaucrat or another bureaucracy, we need another president," Ryan said, who spoke in Northern Colorado after Romney weighed in at a rally in Virginia.

In Roanoke the Republican presidential nominee renewed his attacks on Obama for not offering an agenda. "We don't need a secretary of business to understand business. We need a president who understands business, and I do," Romney said.

During Ryan's visit to Colorado's Weld County, which GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain carried with 53% of the vote in 2008, he said, "President Obama is going to be running around just this week and for the next five days explaining why he just needs four more years to get it all right."

CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Colorado • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Yawn. Consolidation, culling and centralization are core business strategies for streamlining a business, making it more efficient and cost-effective and increasing efficacy/effectiveness and reducing duplication of effort and red tape. Were a white male GOPer/Teatroll to utter the exact same words Obama uttered here, the entire GOP/Teatroll base would be furiously repeating them until they were (more) blue in the face. Instead, they were said by a black Dem POTUS, so they're treated as anathema and summarilyl rejected without an ounce of critical thought. Knee-jerk playground politics at its finest.

    BTW, getting rid of a few bureaucrats in order to replace them with one bureaucrat is not "another bureacrat." It's overall fewer. Apparently, this is another arithmetic failure for the GOPers/Teatrolls.

    Now, first GOP/TEatroll to use the word "czar" gets a cookie. Ready? Go...

    November 1, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Expat American

    Paul Ryan wants to put rape victims in prison.

    November 1, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    This is typical Obama when dealing with the Private Sector. Awkward.

    November 1, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. jkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    Who cares what lyin Ryan says ,he will be lucky if he keeps his house seat just like bachmann after the taxpayers find out your just taking their money and doing nothing for it ,you and romney the tax cheat and the rest of the gop are
    Done !!!!!!

    November 1, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. dave

    maybe mitt romney can release his tax returns? whats he got to hide? this bothers many of us.

    November 1, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. 1twinsfan

    Frankly, the R and R campaign sounds ridiculous when the respond to a bit of a statement here and there. Obama proposes consolidation. You know, getting rid of red tape and redundancy.

    November 1, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What we don't need is a President who flip flops and a Ryan Budget Plan, we can't tell heads from tails between these two and it appears they can't either. Go Fish.

    November 1, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Steven Harnack

    Like we didn't need the huge growth of government that went into the huge bureaucratic Homeland Security?

    November 1, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. California Gary

    Well Mr. Ryan.......maybe it will take longer to get it all done because the GOP left such a mess to be cleaned up......and then decided to block every attempt to actually do the cleaning........of which you, Mr. Ryan, were a willing participant. But you knew that.......

    November 1, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. Former Republican, now an Independent

    When it comes to business, Paul Ryan knows nothing. This imposter wouldn't know a good business decision if it jumped up and slapped him in both of his two faces.

    November 1, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  11. CanadaONE

    69% of Catholics do not like Ryan – he needs a 'secretary of business'

    November 1, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  12. curious

    I thought Romneys position to cut government waste was to "consolidate" multiple government agencies into one to reduce costs, reduce waste, and make things more efficient. Now that is a bad idea?

    Common Sense moment.

    Anyone, seriously does anyone responding here think that the President (republican or democrat) can do it all? Lead the country AND get involved in the nuts and bolts workings of the government.


    November 1, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    Drive this animal into woods, nation's EVIL GOES AWAY.

    November 1, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  14. rs

    Face it, these clowns will criticize anything the duly elected President of the United States does. They have no respect, no ideas, no plans. The funny thing is that engaging in the "Obama can do no good" line of action it simply reinforces the growing perception that no one in the GOP has a freakin' clue anymore. It's a party of people devoid of reality or morality.

    November 1, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. becky

    Aren't the Republicans complaining that businesses were not being represented fairly? NO President has the time to spend inordinate amounts of time on one issue. That is why they have cabinet members who can work on the issues and report back. It remains to be seen if we need such a cabinet position. Of course the Republicans want to get ride of all the cabinet positions that look after the needs of the people.

    November 1, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. mark ducharme

    See even the prez knows he needs help with the economy. Maybe he should talk to Mitt with respect instead of the way he did in the last debate and Mitt can help him understand business and the economy.

    November 1, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. Too Uncommon

    Is this the guy who wanted to cut all social programs so he could give the tax money to his rich pals?

    Where would the devestated states be right now if the Republicans killed FEMA? Or Medicare? Or Social Security?

    Ryan is pulling statistics from his rectal orifice and only the wing-nut TPers are falling for it. Even us Moderate Republicans are going to vote for President Obama.

    God Bless America and our President!

    November 1, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. packerfans

    Vote Mitt Romney 2012 your chance right man and do not vote Obama will getting worst second terms!!

    November 1, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. Dorkus Maximus

    I think Mitt is disappointed because he knows he won't be offered the job.

    November 1, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. jkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    What would lyin Ryan know about business sence his only job besides sponging off the taxpayers for seven terms was driving a hotdog car and lieing !!!

    November 1, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. Disgusted_Republican

    Ryan is so clueless it makes one chuckle! All cabinet secretaries are plum positions handed out for helping with getting the president elected/re-elected. Whether there is a secretary is immaterial. The real work goes on day in and day out with career bureaucrats doing the heavy lifting.

    November 1, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  22. traductio2


    I find it insulting that I should be swayed by the constant spin on pieces of a discourse. Let's stop dumbing down everything to sound bites that appeal to ignorant (as is uninformed) people.!

    November 1, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. GI Joe

    I think Ryan was a stupid idea. He wants to eliminate medicare and give old people vouchers which won't even pay for basic coverage.

    November 1, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. scott miller

    Why is it that the President only proposes ideas when shortfalls are pointed out or there is criticism by others. Are there no original ideas that come from his own administration and like 4 years before the re-election campaign?

    November 1, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  25. DENNA

    On Thursday they pounced with an ad, and Mitt Romney and his running mate mocked the proposal at separate events.
    Pounce and mock. Now there's a strategy. Why don't those two fill us in on what YOU plan to do to – excuse me – for America.

    November 1, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
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