GOP Presidential Hopefuls Sing Praise for Ryan’s 2012 Budget Proposal

Apr 5, 2011 5:21pm

ABC News' Amy Walter, Z. Byron Wolf and Amy Bingham report:

Republican Paul Ryan’s controversial and transformative budget proposal would remake Medicare and Medicaid and cut $5.8 trillion in spending over the next ten years. It was immediately rejected by Democrats and President Obama.

 White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the President respects the goal of lowering the deficit, but said Ryan’s budget proposal does so by cutting taxes for millionaires  while placing a “greater burden” on seniors and the disabled.

Potential GOP presidential candidates uniformly praised Ryan for the breadth of his proposal. They are quick to praise the Budget chairman ( they “thank”, “applaud” and “commend” him), though most notably avoid discussing – or embracing – any specifics. Here’s what White House hopefuls are saying about Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.”

  • Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty: “Thanks to Paul Ryan in Congress, the American people finally have someone offering real leadership in Washington. President Obama has failed to lead and make tough choices his entire time in the White House. While the budget is going to be debated for several months to come, the more immediate issue we face is President Obama’s plans to raise the debt ceiling next month. That's a really bad idea. With over $14 trillion debt already, we should not allow Washington’s big spenders to put us further in the hole. We must get our fiscal house in order with real spending cuts and with real structural reforms that stop the spending spree before it bankrupts our country.”
  • Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney: “I applaud Rep. Paul Ryan for recognizing the looming financial crisis that faces our nation and for the creative and bold thinking that he brings to the debate. He is setting the right tone for finally getting spending and entitlements under control. Anyone who has read my book knows that we are on the same page.”
  • Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum: "I commend Chairman Ryan's long-term budget proposal that tackles entitlement programs, particularly his proposed reforms of the Medicaid program…I also believe the Republicans' approach to reforming Medicare is right on target to streamline the program, reduce waste and allow future Medicare beneficiaries to have more of a say in the needs of their benefits with a market driven approach.  And with over $6 trillion in spending cuts, Congressional Republicans are making the tough choices in the short and long-term to bring the Federal budget under control, and I urge the American people to stand with them in the face of Democratic party obstructionism."
  • Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels: “The House budget resolution is the first serious proposal produced by either party to deal with the overriding issue of our time. …Anyone criticizing this plan without offering a specific and equally bold program of his own has failed in the public duty to be honest and clear with Americans about the gravest danger we are facing together."
  • Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour in a joint statement with the Republican Governors Association: “On behalf of Republican Governors, we applaud the bold FY 2012 budget proposal you announced today…..As House Republican leadership redesigns programs to implement this budget, federal restrictions on Governors’ ability to freely govern must be eliminated. Republican Governors are ready to assist you. Medicaid reform is welcome and the Republican Governors overwhelmingly support the creation of a Medicaid block grant program.” And on Twitter: @HaleyBarbour "Rep. Ryan's budget recognizes the problem with government: Too much spending without fiscal responsibility."
  • Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on Twitter: @SarahPalinUSA "There is hope! Serious & necessary leadership rolls out serious & necessary reform proposal. Good start." Palin linked to a her December 2010 Wall Stree Journal Op-ed where she praised Ryan's previous budget proposal for providing a "reliable path to long-term solvency for our entitlement programs" and "encouraging personal responsibility and independence."
  • Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in a statement on his website Monday: “Whatever details are in the Republican proposal, one thing is for sure – getting rid of Obamacare would be a giant step in the right direction…. As a firm believer in limited government, spending cuts must be made to save this nation.”
  • Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in an interview with the Associated Press: "The aspirational goal of making Medicare and Medicaid sound and secure, yes, I support that." Ryans budget is "an aspirational document. It's not a piece of legislation."
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