From CFIF.org, By Timothy H. Lee, August 16 2012 – “Have any of you all met Paul Ryan? We should get him to come to the university. I’m telling you, this guy is amazing.”
That was Erskine Bowles, former White House Chief of Staff during the Clinton Administration. More recently, he co-chaired the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission that Barack Obama appointed but then proceeded to ignore. Perhaps this explains why.
Speaking last September at the University of North Carolina, Mr. Bowles was unrestrained in his praise for Mr. Ryan:
“I always thought I was okay at arithmetic, but this guy can run circles around me. And he is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan – it is sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget, and it cut the budget deficit, just like we did, by $4 trillion. The President came out with his own plan, and, the President as you remember, came out with a budget. And I don’t think anybody took that budget very seriously. The Senate voted against it ninety-seven to nothing.”
So according to Obama’s own deficit commission co-chair, Paul Ryan is “amazing” and Obama’s plan is unserious.
Bill Clinton betrayed his own “Call Me, Maybe?” man-crush on Ryan during an open-mic backstage encounter at a national debt forum in May 2011:
Clinton: “I told them before you got here, I said, ‘I’m glad we won this race in New York, but I hope Democrats don’t use this as an excuse to do nothing.’”
Ryan: “My guess is, it’s going to sink into paralysis is what’s going to happen. And you know the math. It’s just, I mean, we knew we were putting ourselves out there. You gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving.”
Clinton: “If you ever want to talk about it, give me a call.”
And then there is Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon.
One of the Senate’s more liberal members, Wyden joined Ryan last December to “work together on bipartisan reforms to save and strengthen Medicare.” Here were their words in a joint Wall Street Journal commentary entitled “A Bipartisan Way Forward on Medicare”:
“So, before the partisan attacks begin to escalate and the 2012 election ads start to air, we are outlining a plan for how Democrats and Republicans can work together to ensure that American retirees – now and forever – have quality, affordable health insurance. Our plan would strengthen traditional Medicare by permanently maintaining it as a guaranteed and viable option for all of our nation’s retirees. At the same time, our plan would expand choice for seniors by allowing the private sector to compete with Medicare in an effort to offer seniors better-quality and more affordable healthcare choices. Under our plan, Americans currently over the age of 55 would see no changes to the Medicare system.” (Emphasis added)
Fast-forward to last weekend, when Mitt Romney named Ryan as his running mate.
Wasting little time, Obama hatchet-man David Axelrod continued the ugliness that has characterized a campaign that cannot justify reelection based on actual job performance. “I just don’t like his views,” Axelrod told CBS News. “I think they’re very dangerous views, and for the middle class it’s like a choice between a punch to the nose and a knee to the groin.”
Always the classy face of the Obama campaign, that David Axelrod. Of course, that’s par for the course for a campaign that has variously accused Romney of felonious activity, causing a woman’s death from cancer and now seeking to place black Americans “back in chains.”
The Obama campaign’s tactics, however, merely betray their sense of panic, despite claims to the contrary. While Ryan has worked with and received praise from some of the Democratic party’s most respected figures, Obama can claim nothing remotely similar. In fact, surveys show that partisan acrimony has reached record highs under Obama.
Moreover, it’s not just Democratic leaders who demonstrate such high levels of respect toward Rep. Ryan. In the past five presidential elections, his Wisconsin district has voted for the Democratic candidate four times (Clinton, Clinton, Gore and Obama). Yet since his election in 1998, Ryan has never received less than 63% of his constituents’ vote.
All of this eviscerates liberal attempts to smear Ryan as some sort of right-wing extremist.
Americans claim to prefer political leaders who offer adult solutions and bipartisan appeal. The Obama campaign desperately hopes they don’t mean it.