GOP Rep. Schweikert on Paul Ryan’s Budget: ‘We Need to Redouble… Own This, Make the Case’

May 25, 2011 3:42pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein (@rickklein) reports: The fallout from the Paul Ryan budget –- capped by yesterday’s Democratic victory in a Republican-heavy House seat –- has prompted sharply different responses from Republicans, with some embracing Ryan and others ducking for political cover.

On ABC’s “Top Line” today, we talked to a freshman Republican who told us he thinks Republicans need to further embrace Ryan’s plan, including his proposal to dramatically restructure Medicare.

“We need to redouble our efforts,” Rep. Dave Schweikert, R-Ariz., told us. “Own this, make the case. Embrace it, because it’s based on math, it’s based on the truth. And get out there and start explaining to the public why were doing what we’re doing, and why what we’re doing is the honorable thing.”

Asked about those in his party who say the GOP would be better off talking about jobs instead of Medicare, Schweikert responded:

“They're, politically, absolutely right,” he said. “But it all comes together — you don't create jobs, you don't have investment until the markets, and those that hold the capital to do those investments, have some sense that we're going to bend this debt curve.”

“Is it possible the Republicans can lose any ground?” he continued. “I don't think so. Because if you think through a national political cycle, there’s going to be times we’re getting just beaten up, beaten up, beaten up. But we’re often getting beaten up by lies. What happens when the American people start to understand what we’re doing is the saving of the Republic?”

And Schweikert brought along Charlie, his 13-year-old lab/wheaten terrier mix, who’s been coming to his office on Capitol Hill over the last few weeks under an adage about Washington made famous by Harry S. Truman.

“As the running joke around our office goes, if you really want a friend while you’re telling the truth, bring your dog to DC,” Schweikert said. “Charlie, c'mon!”

Watch the full interview with Rep. Dave Schweikert HERE.


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