Home > news > Opinion Pieces

Opinion Pieces

Ryan: Obama sees GOP as enemy, not partners

CBS News - CBS This Morning

f t # e
February 13, 2013 | comments

Congressman Paul Ryan: Good morning Charlie. How are you doing?

Charlie Rose: Good and how are you?

Congressman Paul Ryan: Doing fine.

Charlie Rose: The president just listed what would happen if in fact sequester takes place. They are automatic cuts. Do I hear you saying that you believe that is going to happen?

Congressman Paul Ryan: Well, I was simply predicting. The reason is because the President has not put a budget on the table, the Senate has not passed a budget in four years. We have been passing budgets. We have passed two bills to prevent the sequester by cutting government spending in other places that we think were smart cuts. So do not forget, Charlie, that it was the President who first proposed the sequester. It is the president who designed the sequester as it is now designed. And it is the House who twice has passed legislation replacing the sequester. So because the Senate has not acted, because the President has not yet put a proposal on the table, that is why I think the sequester will probably occur.

Charlie Rose: So if the President does not present a budget, you are prepared to let it happen?

Congressman Paul Ryan: You have to understand we have acted in the House, the Senate has not, and the President has not. And therefore that is why I think that is why it is going to happen. The other point is, what you have to remember, you have to budget to prevent these kinds of things from happening – these cliffs and these brinksmanship games. The Senate has not passed a budget in four years. The president has missed the budget deadline 4 out of the last 5 times. His budget was due last week and it looks like he may not even produce a budget for a month which would mean missing the deadline by as much as a month. We are going to pass a budget on time. We have already done that and that is how you fix these problems and prevent this kind of brinksmanship. So we would love to see the other side of the aisle, the President and the Democrats in the Senate, actually put proposals on the table which is, to me, how you get things done. We put our proposal on the table, they put theirs, and then you start negotiating. That has not happened yet and that is why we’re frustrated about this situation.

Norah O’Donnell: Hi Congressman, it’s Norah O’Donnell. It is nice to have you here with us. I want to turn to the President’s State of the Union last night. One of the areas that was very emotional was when the President talked about the victims of gun violence, named them, and said that each person deserves a vote. At that point even Speaker Boehner stood up and applauded. Do you agree that there should at least be a vote on gun control and let people vote however they want?

Congressman Paul Ryan: Well as Speaker Boehner has said, we are focused on the sequester and the economy, let’s see what the Senate can pass and send to the House and then we will take that legislation up. The other thing that was really nice to see was Brian Murphy. He is a man I have known for a number of years, a police lieutenant in Oak Creek who was shot twelve times, was standing there in the audience in much better health and it was wonderful to see a hero like that surviving that kind of brutality. What I am a little concerned about is that the President did not mention the other things that we ought to be looking at Norah. What about a mental illness policy? A comprehensive mental illness policy to make sure that we can identify these individuals early. What is happening in our culture that produces this kind of evil? We should not paper over those sincere problems and I would hate to see us miss this opportunity to do that and instead recycle failed policies of the past. I hope this does not become a partisan football. I hope we get into these deeper issues which really do beg our attention. Look, as a parent I have to tell you, I want to fix this to the extent that we can and we need to look into these deeper issues.

Gayle King: Congressman, I would like to talk about you for a second. You and Marco Rubio have both been mentioned as Presidential candidates in 2016. There are rumors that you might be interested in Speaker of the House. So when you look at your political career, what do you want to do next?

Congressman Paul Ryan: I want to stop the country from having a debt crisis. I want to make sure that my children inherit a debt free nation and a better standard of living than the one my parents gave me. I want to work wherever I can to fix this future. Look, we have a debt crisis coming, and I am disappointed in how the President underplayed this. We have got to get our economy growing and we have got to get people back on the ladder of success. That is what I am focusing on. And where I can best do that I will have to decide later. I literally do not know the best place to go to do that but I do feel like I have an important job now as the Chairman of the Budget Committee: make sure we get this debt under control, balance the budget, grow the economy, reform the tax system, open up our energy exploration. That stuff creates jobs. That produces growth and upward mobility. That is what I am focused on. I am more focused on policy and outcome than some political promotion.

Charlie Rose: Congressman, let’s talk about dialogue for a second. The Speaker said of the President: “he does not have the guts to act.” Do you agree with the Speaker?

Congressman Paul Ryan: Yes, I think in some ways I absolutely do. I think the speech we got last night was pretty par for the course of the President – very liberal, fairly partisan – but he is taking to the road for the next few days in basically what I could call campaign mode. He seems to always stay in a campaign mode where he treats people of the other party as the enemy and not as partners. If he really wanted to get things done and govern, he would come here and work with us instead of campaigning all around the country. And so when you see that kind of activity, when you see these kinds of straw-man arguments, when you see the President impugn the motives of people who have different ideas than he does, that is why the Speaker makes comments like that.


f t # e