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. alanread1

    I'm giving up religion for Lent. Since a large number of wars and conflicts around the world are over religious differences, this would be a good idea for everyone on this planet!

    April 12, 2014 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. Larry38363

    The last thing this guy gave up for Lent was helping the poor; the sick; America; the unemployed; the middle class; etc. Unfortunately, Lent has never ended and Easter has NEVER come! This guy makes Christianity look like something similar to a false religion!

    April 12, 2014 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. dotofoz

    For a man who claims to be religious, even though he is obsessed with the atheist Ayn Rand, he should have know that Lent started a long time ago, and will end in 1 week. Duh. I wonder if he even knows when Easter is?

    April 12, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. KC Yankee


    It's an excellent question. He seems to be good at stoking anxiety and directing it at tried and true Republican bogeymen: commies, lazy poor people who don't want to work, intellectuals who don't know what real work is.

    April 12, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  5. Good VA Guy

    Hey Paul, I am an Iowan Republican Atheist. Why would I want to do anything different for lent except maybe give up my membership in the Republican party. A party that discriminates and violates the constitution's prohibition on mingling church and state.

    April 12, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. Sam

    Counting on the Republicans to eat themselves alive.

    April 12, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. kristine weibel

    Using (Religion) Lent as a ruse. Insulting. How about doing what the tax payers = THAT WOULD BE US YOU JERK
    are paying to do – YOUR JOB. Oh, but you don't really care about us 'little people? Do you?

    April 12, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. Brian the Dog

    Republicans won't stop for lent. They are cannibals looking for blood and the worst of them are the tea bag gers.

    April 12, 2014 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. skytag

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

    Can anyone on the right talk about anything anymore without talking about the left and liberals?

    Hey Paul, forget about the left, Democrats, liberals, and so on and start offering viable conservative ideas to address the challenges we face.

    April 12, 2014 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Durundal

    why is it that the more 'isms' people try to lump together, the dumberthey are and the more they can only express themselves in one word slogans?

    April 12, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. technomomwi

    Presumptuous Mr. Ryan. I do not have the same religious belief as you and it might be possible that some Republican do not have the same religious views as you. Maybe you should cite Rodney King famous phrase about getting along with one another. The country will not tolerate someone who is intolerant of others.

    April 12, 2014 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. Beverly

    Message to Ryan: I'm NOT Catholic and don't observe Lent. What an asinine statement. Congress should give up infighting but it will never happen . . . you cannot expect any given 500+ people to get along. What is needed are fewer politicians and more real people, you know, middle class people who work for a living? I think it's time to downsize the US government. Let's make a simple start. As each state has two US Senators, each state should only have two US Representatives. That would slightly decrease the federal budget and would be a wonderful start. Maybe having only 200 legislators would mean something would get done.

    April 12, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    The altar boy pretending he cares. Any clean pots you want to go scrub?
    Are all teaklans catholic you fool?

    April 12, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    I think the gop/tea bags should give up seeking the presidency for Lent – save a lot of time and money, for sure!

    April 12, 2014 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    If you want to know what Ryan is about, check out the Libertarian Party's platform back in 1980, when David Koch (of Koch brothers infamy) ran as the VP candidate. Highlights include:

    Get rid of the Federal Election Commission, the FDA, the FAA, the EPA, the Dept. of Energy, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Postal Service and the Dept. of Transportation.

    Repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Abolish Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and end all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws (income tax credits for children), including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.

    Eventually get rid of all taxation (all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes). And in the meantime, terminate all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion.

    Get rid of minimum wage laws (because it "impedes the ability of a person to find employment”).

    Get rid of compulsory education laws and separate completely "education and State." End government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges.

    HOWEVER, completely support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.

    Privatize America's railroad system, along with all public roads and the national highway system.

    Get rid of all laws requiring safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.

    Get rid of government welfare, relief projects and "aid to the poor" programs (let private groups and individuals do – even though HISTORY PROVES that can't do it alone).

    Privatize all inland waterways, AND the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.

    The Koch brothers and all their candidates want to turn our country into a third-world nation where THEY own and control everything, where the average person has a chance in Hades in ever getting ahead, where they can do whatever they want, without regard to anything or anyone except their profit.

    You want this? I DON'T – and everyone who agrees with me needs to get out and VOTE on November 4, 2014 to stop the folks.

    April 12, 2014 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. DH

    Vote out the Repubs this November!!!! I think if they could hang all the blacks they would.

    April 12, 2014 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. ja

    Why would they they're all hypocrites

    April 12, 2014 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  18. S. B. Stein

    I thought that they could give up believing that the rich are going to create jobs because they have a tax cut. Maybe Ryan would give up the idea that there will be non-governmental programs helping the poor staring up because the government isn't doing it any more.

    April 12, 2014 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  19. J.V.Hodgson

    You know what? We should halve the defense budget. 1/4 goes to deficit reduction and 1/4 gets spent on infrastructure and a huge chunk of that devoted to Maglev long distance rail and improved other areas of HSS rail connections. The other to upgrading Interstate highways and local connections thereto.

    All those projects could employ ex military personnel in their re-development.

    April 13, 2014 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  20. Ian's Rushtache

    I gave up bronze age fairytales for lent.

    April 13, 2014 07:17 am at 7:17 am |

    rs nailed again. people like Ryan aren't Christians, they are charlatans.

    April 13, 2014 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  22. Gurgyl

    --real Enemy of USA is just "Republican Cult", they did NOT find "Bin Laden" to give away our Tax-dollars to Pakistan. I mean Thirty Billion yearly. Now cry on taking away "Your" SS, Medicare, now Healthcare. Very pathetic. They passed Trickle-down, in turn these guys invested in China, India, Philippines, etc.

    April 13, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  23. Pete

    Ryan the Ayn Rand diciple should be the last to talk religion..She was an atheist and didn't believe in any government interference didn't she in indivigual citizens rights..How hypocritical of Ryan but if you read about his new bill you'll see how he helps his constituents by cutting Medicare,SocialSecurity to prop up the MIC for future conflicts..Just another republican chicken hawk that would never shed blood for our country and you republicans know it..

    April 13, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  24. Pete

    How can a hypocric like Ryan talk about religion when he was an Ayn Rand diciple and wasn't she an atheist and didn't believe in government interfering in indiviguals lives..Come on republicans your reps can do better than that being hypocrics can't they...

    April 13, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. Evole 101

    Hey Ryan would the real Darwin fish (fossil) be a main dish for Lent ?

    April 13, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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