Paul Ryan

Ryan reiterates support for Price in key House GOP leadership race

Earlier today, I mentioned that Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) had rejected a deal from House Speaker John Boehner that would have given him an appointed leadership position if he withdrew from the race for House Republican Conference chair and promised not to oppose GOP leadership. Boehner’s preferred candidate is apparently Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) and he’s trying to avoid a potentially divisive fight.

Well, that got a lot more interesting today when Paul Ryan (R-WI), who served as Mitt Romney’s running mate this year and is popular with conservatives, reiterated his support for Price in a letter to colleagues:

In the Dear Colleague obtained by Roll Call, Ryan cites his experience putting together a House Republican budget as proof that Price is “uniquely qualified” to become conference chairman. Ryan is the chairman of the House Budget Committee, on which Price sits.

Price is running against Republican Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. She has touted the endorsements of seven committee chairmen.

Ryan, however, one of the most high-profile figures in the Republican Party, might have the credibility to sway his colleagues into supporting Price. Although he pledged his support to Price this past summer, the duties of running on the presidential ticket trumped congressional politics, and he had not been active in supporting the candidate.

A libertarian explains why she’s voting for Mitt Romney

While some conservative bloggers have tried to make a case for libertarians voting for Mitt Romney, they haven’t really been able to connect because they fail to understand where we’re coming from in our perspective on politics and public policy. However, Liz Mair, a libertarian who works as a political consultant and strategist, explains that she is voting for Romney, despite reservations about some of his policies:

Poll: Romney pulls even with Obama on Medicare

Remember when Democrats thought that Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan would be easy for them to tear down because of his reasonable proposal to reform Medicare? They’ve certainly tried to demagogue the issue — take, for example, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz attempt during the summer on CNN when she was educated by Wolf Biltzer.

But new polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that the attacks haven’t worked, as Romney has narrowed the gap with President Obama on Medicare:

Mitt Romney has pulled even with President Obama when it comes to the question of whom voters trust on Medicare, according to a new poll.

October’s Kaiser Health Tracking poll found that in one month, Romney brought Obama’s lead on Medicare issues from 16 points down to 5, a gap that was not statistically significant in the poll.

Those figures represent the leanings of likely voters. Among seniors, Kaiser found that Romney leads Obama on Medicare by 5 points (48 percent to 43).
Kaiser found that 61 percent of likely voters and 72 percent of seniors oppose converting Medicare to a premium-support system. Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), have endorsed plans to partially privatize the program, giving future seniors a fixed dollar amount to buy coverage from traditional Medicare or on the private market.

Opposition to premium support is stable among non-seniors, though Kaiser cited other research that found opinion on the issue to be “quite malleable” and disposed to “persuasive messaging.”

Ben Swann chats with Paul Ryan about his big government conservatism

Paul Ryan

Despite not being their ideal candidate, Republicans became excited once Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan’s two budgets — the “Roadmap for America’s Future” and the “Path to Prosperity” — became rallying points for conservative activists and many in the Tea Party movement. It should be noted that FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth supported other alternatives because they didn’t feel that Ryan’s proposals didn’t balance the budget quickly enough.

While he has been able to cast himself as a budget cutter and small government advocate, Ryan’s voting record tells a different story. Back in May, I noted some of Ryan’s big government leanings, including his votes for Medicare Part D, TARP, and the auto bailout.

Earlier this month, Ben Swann, a Cininnati-based report, sat down with Ryan and went over some of the votes over his career in Congress, putting the GOP vice presidential nominee on the defensive for supporting big government.

On Medicare Part D, Ryan explains that the program came under cost projections, but Swann notes that the program has added over $9 trillion in unfunded liabilities to an already broken program.

Swann also shows video of the debate on TARP, where Ryan explains, “[T]his bill offends my principles, but I’m gonna vote for this bill in order to preserve my principles.” That’s no different than what George W. Bush said after TARP was passed, that he “abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.”

Joe Biden lied, more American troops will die

Joe Biden

During the vice presidential debate last week, Vice President Joe Biden ripped Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for their perceived opposition to the 2014 deadline to leave Afghanistan, promising that the United States would no longer occupy the country.

While that may be music to the ears of a war weary nation, Josh Rogin notes over at Foreign Policy that the Obama Administration is actually trying to extend that deadline to leave an American presence in Afghanistan:

Last week, U.S. and Afghan negotiators met in Kabul to talk about the Bilateral Security Agreement that will govern the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, when President Barack Obama said the combat mission in Afghanistan will end and the U.S. will complete the transition of the entire country to Afghan government control.

Also last week, Biden told Americans during his Oct. 11 debate with Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan that U.S. troops were leaving Afghanistan by 2014.

“We are leaving in 2014, period, and in the process, we’re going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion,” Biden said. “We’ve been in this war for over a decade. The primary objective is almost completed. Now all we’re doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. It’s their responsibility, not America’s.”

Marc Grossman, the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, explained today that’s not the whole story.

Electoral Vote: All eyes are on Ohio

It’s unclear what impact Tuesday night’s presidential debate will have on the race, though one would imagine that the impact will be minimal. There’s still not much margin for error in the race as a major gaffe could swing the election in one direction or the other.

But what we’re seeing now is a trend toward Mitt Romney in some crucial swing states, and perhaps an admission from President Barack Obama’s campaign that they may be about to surrender some ground, according to the National Journal:

What also became clear after the dust began to settle from the rumble on Long Island was the electoral map has narrowed and Obama’s team, while conceding nothing publicly, is circling the wagons around Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Plouffe said that Obama remains strong in all four states, but he would not discuss the specifics of internal polling or voter-contact analytics, saying only that Obama has “significant leads” in all four places.

It is uncharacteristic of Team Obama to concede any terrain, but Plouffe offered no such assurances about Obama’s position in North Carolina, Virginia, or Florida. Romney advisers have seen big gains in all three states and now consider wins likely, although not guaranteed, in all three. They are similarly upbeat about prospects in Colorado but not confident enough to predict victory. That Plouffe left Colorado off his list of states where Obama’s leading and can withstand a Romney surge might be telling.

“Ryan Girl” Singing “Let’s Get Fiscal”

Move over, Obama Girl! Here comes Ryan Girl with a parody of Olivia Newton John’s hit:

Here are the lyrics:

You’re saying all the things that I know are right, making good calculations
They want us to think you’re bad, but I can do the math.
I love it that your plan saves Medicare, your budget has a sexy flair.
There’s nothing left to talk about except the economy!

Let’s get fiscal, fiscal.
I wanna get fiscal,
Let’s get into solvency.
Let me hear reality, reality.
A dose of that reality.
Let’s get fiscal, fiscal.
I wanna get fiscal, save Social Security.
Time to make Obama walk, no more talk.
Time to make Obama walk.

I’ve been patient, I’ve been good, waited for recovery.

It’s getting hard, where are the jobs? Don’t want to be like Greece.
We all know that printing money’s bad, unlike that old guy Bernanke.
You gotta know that you’re bringing out the numbers nerd in me!

Let’s get fiscal, fiscal.
I wanna get fiscal.
Let me see those baby blues, that chiseled chest.
Talk CBO estimates.
Let’s get fiscal, fiscal.
I wanna get fiscal.
Let’s forget the spending sprees.
Give me some reality, reality.
Whisper straight talk to me.

Let’s get fiscal, fiscal.
I wanna get fiscal.
Let’s get fiscal sanity.
Let me see you pull that bow, kill that doe.
Spending bills have got to go

Let’s get fiscal, fiscal.


We Are Not Laughing

Ben Howe produced a video to show just how outrageous our Vice President Joe “Chuckles” Biden’s laughter was during the debate last night with Rep. Paul Ryan. Well done:

Obama’s handling of Benghazi issue keeps getting worse

Just when you think the Benghazi scandal couldn’t get any worse for President Barack Obama, his chief spokesperson, Stephanie Cutter, opens her mouth. During an interview yesterday on CNN, Cutter said that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the reason that the issue has come to the forefront of the news:

So let me get this straight — for days, President Obama and other in the administration blamed a YouTube video, claiming it was a peaceful protest turned violent. President Obama, in a statement released after the attack, specifically mentioned religious tolerance — an indication that he was blaming the video.

United Liberty VP Debate Hangout

We’re live from a Google+ Hangout, watching and critiquing the debate tonight between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. You can watch the debate live here and you can listen to our commentary below:

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