Paul Ryan to Iowa GOP: Give up 'infighting' for Lent
April 11th, 2014
11:36 PM ET
9 years ago

Paul Ryan to Iowa GOP: Give up 'infighting' for Lent

(CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan called on the Republican Party to unify in a speech Friday, saying it should "give up the infighting" for Lent.

Addressing an Iowa crowd in the pivotal caucus state's GOP Lincoln Dinner, the potential 2016 presidential candidate said Iowa can do the country a favor in the 2014 midterm election "by delivering another Senate seat and by sending more conservatives to Congress."

Amid a heated primary battle on the Republican side to fill the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, Ryan called on the Hawkeye State Republicans to coalesce around whoever the party picks in the June primary.

"Let's give up the infighting. Let's give up the tunnel vision. Let's give up the acrimony," the Wisconsin congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee said.

"The left loves to say that our party is in this big civil war, that we’re tearing each other apart."

While there's a crowded field vying for the GOP nomination, Democratic candidate and state Rep. Bruce Braley faces no serious opposition for his party's nomination. Braley, however, sparked controversy in the state recently after a video clip showed him warning that a Republican takeover of the Senate could leave the GOP's Sen. Chuck Grassley – "a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school" – in charge of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.

At the event, Ryan joked, "Imagine what Chuck Grassley would have done with his life if only he had a law degree."

The Budget Committee chairman's keynote address comes one day after the House approved Ryan's 2015 budget proposal amid protests from some conservatives who argue his plan is not aggressive enough in slashing the size of the federal government.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: Iowa • Paul Ryan
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. HoleN1

    They should give up being stupid for Lent.

    April 11, 2014 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  2. The right wing have lost their damned minds

    Another idiot that needs to be voted out!!!

    April 12, 2014 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  3. Thomas

    And to think , this guy could have been VP.

    April 12, 2014 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  4. angiedavidson75

    I was at this event tonight, and I can tell you that Ryan will not face an easy road in Iowa if he chooses to run. This event was not nearly as well attended as the previous dinners (Reagan and Lincoln dinners are major RPI fundraisers) and our governor didn't even bother to show up. Our last two dinner featured Ted Cruz and Rand Paul as keynote speakers, and they both packed the house. Reception was very lukewarm for Paul Ryan. Personally, he turned me off when he started discussing the fact that he was a man of principle...I saw how those principles played out as he and Romney unseated duly elected delegates in three states during the last cycle in what could only be called cheating...he will not have my vote.

    April 12, 2014 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  5. Tampa Tim

    It's beginning to look like America is getting tired of obstructionist conservatives, who are nothing more that government shut down artists, in Washington. Ryan needs more conservatives to help him eliminate those safety nets he once enjoyed.

    April 12, 2014 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Ryan uses the $3 trillion the government saves from ACA, in his budget to give tax breaks for the wealthy. Then his budget calls for repeal of ACA, so there won't be $3 trillion available. Republican economics gave us the Great Depression and the Great Recession and record job loss, so Ryan is lying again.

    April 12, 2014 06:43 am at 6:43 am |

    Lyin Ryan is whining like a little girl. Can't wait to see Sheldon Adelson,Rupert Mourdoch,Rove,Grover Norquist and the GOP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea party's throats 2012 Mitt Romney style.

    April 12, 2014 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  8. Dennis Freeman

    What a guy...

    April 12, 2014 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  9. Charles Hawkins

    The way to stop the infighting would be to stop courting the votes of racists, birthers, homophobes, and the extremely intolerant religious right.

    April 12, 2014 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  10. Tampa Tim

    I am curious. I have not seen any of the Koch ads against the ACA this week on TV. Did they stop their losses at $1 billion in negative ads now that 9.3 million are now signed up and join the 275 million who were not affected by the law?

    April 12, 2014 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  11. don in albuquerque

    Yeah, Chuck Grassley......theres a real level headed conservative. "They're gonna kill Granny!!!" More blah, blah, woof, woof, from the right. Dems get out and VOTE!

    April 12, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  12. just saying

    yes please focus your fire on the real enemy of this country, the far left leftist/progressive/socialist/communist democrat party. don't help them one bit. they have enough lies of their own to spew. don't give them fodder for more.

    April 12, 2014 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  13. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    Wonderful!. He knows the superstition for LENT whcih celebrates the 40 days Our Lord spent in the Wilderness with
    Satan(Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday) during which Satan provokes the Church. My Computer screen has been destroyed for LENT (smile)

    April 12, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  14. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    How about "do you job to move the country forward- because it's your job! Pray, fast, and be penitent, for Lent"
    Some self-serving Catholic you are, Paul. Nobody's buying your bull.

    April 12, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. bcrunner

    Give it up for Lent? Lent lasts for 40 days and it's almost over. Maybe he could have said "let's agree to give it up for Holly Week"... but again... they are Republicans..... It really is not about Faith...They just want us to think they believe in God....

    April 12, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. TCP/IP

    Come on Ryan – sounds a little fishy – lent ? Do not forget the chocolate eggs for Easter !

    No separation of church and state ?

    April 12, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |

    A former HOT DOG car driver as the GOP budget GURU???????

    April 12, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. smith 1

    unfortunately a lot of the GOP are uneducated and think that is just fine. Nice message they send to our young. Lie and act like and idiot and you to can be a congressman or senator. The budget genius is loosing momentum as is his whole party. Vote the jerks out

    April 12, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Bill from GA

    ""give up the infighting" for Lent"

    Clearly an attempt to pander to the most ignorant of Christians. A Catholic would know that Lent began on Ash Wednesday (March 5, this year).

    His comment may impress the most backwoods of Baptists or evangelicals. Probably not.
    Ryan shoulda consulted with Joe Biden on this one.

    April 12, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. Winston Smith

    If there's one thing the GOP knows, it's that an educated populace is a danger to the GOP. The more people know, the less likely they are to vote for any person running on a republican ticket.

    April 12, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Hey Paul, you want to follow Jesus?

    "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

    April 12, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. The Fig Leaf ?

    Wow really Ryan – so where does the talking snake fit into the picture ?

    April 12, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. John in Brooklyn

    In other words....Tea Party....purge those moderates so that we can walk in lock-step.

    April 12, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Death Panels for Grandma , Tax Breaks for the 1% , and climate change is good for the economy !

    Don't let the Progressives into your mind , It's Saturday

    April 12, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Name. MADMOTHER

    I just wish these cry baby republicans just take their meds like old rush limbaugh . Two Oxycontin every :30 in chill!!

    April 12, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
1 2 3 4