Patterico's Pontifications


Paul Ryan Claims He Was Silent on Government Shutdown for Party Unity, But the Record Does Not Agree

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

CBS News: Paul Ryan: I kept quiet during government shutdown for party unity.

Rep. Paul Ryan said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that he didn’t voice his opposition to the government shutdown in 2013 because he wanted to ensure there was “party unity.”

“I don’t think it was constructive for conservatives to be carping at each other. At the same time, the purpose of that passage is to try and unify our party. I don’t think we can succeed if all we do is criticize and define what we are against,” he said.

Ryan wrote in his new book that came out last week that he believed the Republican attempt to defund Obamacare by shutting down the government was “a suicide mission” but that too many members of his own party were unwilling to abandon the idea for fear that they would be punished by outside groups aligned with the tea party.

He told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer that he didn’t believe the strategy was “really legitimate” because a government shutdown cannot stop an entitlement program, not to mention there was no support for the strategy in the Senate.

But the point of his book, he said, “to help design a unified conservative Republican movement that is principled, inclusive and aspirational so that we can win a majority of Americans’ votes to save this country from what I believe is going down the wrong track.”

When politicians make claims about what they did (or did not do) in the past, it’s sometimes helpful to consult the record.

August 4, 2013:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Influential Republican congressman Paul Ryan disagreed on Sunday with the idea of using the threat of a government shutdown as a means of trying to get rid of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law known as “Obamacare.”

Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and a former vice presidential candidate, said he strongly backs the goal of repealing Obamacare but added there were other, more effective ways of achieving it than by refusing to approve any government funding bill that includes money for the program.

“I think there’s going to be a better strategy to actually achieve our goal of ultimately delaying and ultimately replacing Obamacare,” the Wisconsin congressman told the CBS talk show “Face the Nation.”

Note: the August 2013 comments were made on “Face the Nation” — the very same show where Ryan said this past Sunday that he had been silent in 2013. It takes a large pair of brass nerves to claim that you were “silent” about a topic, on the very same show where you held forth at length about the same topic one year earlier.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 7.31.38 AM
Above: a tight-lipped Paul Ryan keeps his mouth shut for the party’s sake

So why is Ryan obfuscating about this? Because his “silence” didn’t end in August 2013. In October 2013, he was spouting off to reporters again . . . this time trying to prevent a compromise that would have ended the shutdown. This is the embarrassing history that he needs to erase from our memories.

Let’s consult that pesky record again. After his August 2013 “Face the Nation” appearance, it was reported that conservatives were upset with Ryan. Next thing you know, on October 8, Ryan had penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed blaming Obama for the crisis and proposing his own solution. By October 12, 2013, Ryan’s “silence” consisted of telling reporters about his opposition to a Senate compromise floated by Susan Collins:

Boehner’s closest friends in the Senate, including Graham and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), pleaded with him Friday to modify his legislation along the lines of what they were trying to broker across the Capitol. The speaker told them Saturday that the Collins plan would face opposition from too many Republicans for him to put it on the floor, Chambliss said.

“We don’t support it,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters, saying that the reasons for opposition were “too many to go into.”

Ah, the sounds of silence! Ryan wasn’t just spouting off to reporters about his opposition to the Senate compromise. He was actually rallying the troops against it:

[I]nstead of absorbing this painful reality, some rank-and-file Republicans grew visibly excited about the prospect of opposing such a deal, said one person in the room. This defiance was fed by Ryan, who stood up and railed against the Collins proposal, saying the House could not accept either a debt-limit bill or a government-funding measure that would delay the next fight until the new year.

According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange, Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as “leverage” for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a “conscience clause” — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Ryan’s speech appeared only to further rile up the conservative wing of the GOP conference, which has been agitating the shutdown strategy to try to tear apart the health-care law.

With such fervor still rampant among House Republicans, there was bipartisan agreement in the Senate that Boehner’s House had lost its ability to approve anything that could be signed by Obama into law.

My guess is that it is this leadership role in prolonging the government shutdown that Ryan is trying to whitewash.

I guess he’s running, huh?

38 Responses to “Paul Ryan Claims He Was Silent on Government Shutdown for Party Unity, But the Record Does Not Agree”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. As Laura has indicated, Master Ryan has passed his expiration date.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  3. America eats its Rs…

    Colonel Haiku (43bfc3)

  4. Example 3,654,710 why RINOs are of no use.

    Instead of doing what was right, they went about playing politics in a washing machine the Democrats control — the Media.

    Rodney King's Spirit (8b9b5a)

  5. He’d make a great WH budget director, but a wonk isn’t what we need in the big chair.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  6. The only tool the GOP had the last four years was the ‘purse’ with “1/2 of 1/3 of government. With a full 1/3 what will change? Oh, yes, they will “govern”.

    Hello, the Executive will toss all that hard work in the dustbin just as they are now.

    You, Mr. Ryan demand that you be irrelevant, with prejudice.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  7. 5. He’d [have made] a great WH budget director [Sept. 10, 2001, but men are what we need now.

    There, FIFY.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  8. 7. Men, that is, that fight like girls.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  9. Forget budget director, Ryan’s a natural for WH press secretary. How quickly politics takes the measure of the man.

    ropelight (09f907)

  10. Lying weasel turns out to be a lying weasel.

    Let’s just make sure he doesn’t get the chance to do it again.

    Him and his pal.

    jakee308 (ba1e65)

  11. The Obama administration and the Democrats hand us an embarrassment of riches, failed policy after failed policy, actions when taken – though few in number in a world filled with “opportunities” – ineffectual, at best and some of us choose to throw a good guy under the bus? To what end? #GloryHoleGenerals

    Colonel Haiku (43bfc3)

  12. Well, it was Bob Schieffer who claimed Paul Ryan was silent in 2013.

    What I think happened is that, at the height of the controversy, Paul Ryan got very quiet, and that’s what Bob Schieffer was talking about (the only thing wrong there was that he implied he knows Ruyan was opposed to this from the book, but he knew it because Paul Ryan had already opposed it – although against that, you could say, not reiterating it could mean he changed his mind, so only when the book came out wass it confirmed that he continued to think it was a bad idea)

    You’re quoting Paul Ryan from the very beginning of August, 2013, not September or October, 2013, and I think Bob Schieffer was referring to that period of time…

    Sammy Finkelman (c2ec36)

  13. Four score and 7 trillion rounds ago…

    Colonel Haiku (43bfc3)

  14. It’s true he let reporters know – and yet, they were also writing, if I remember, that Ryan was silent. He wasn’t silent, but he was not taking steps to interfere.

    There was something, I think, he wasn’t doing.

    But Bob Schieffer misstated it.

    Paul Ryan was trying to work with the proponents of the shutdown.

    I found this:

    In a meeting with the most ardent House conservatives, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out a package focused on an overhaul of Medicare and a path toward a comprehensive simplification of the tax code.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2ec36)

  15. Also this:

    Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, suggested on Tuesday that the government shutdown may not be resolved for more than two weeks.

    That would come, he said, when the country reaches its debt limit.

    Noting that previous agreements over the budget had come together around the deadline when the country has reached its statutory borrowing limit, Mr. Ryan said, “We think that will be the forcing mechanism to bring the two parties together. Our goal and motivation here is to get a budget agreement. And we think this is a way to do that.”

    Sammy Finkelman (c2ec36)

  16. Maybe if Ryan didn’t completely cave on the sequester he would have some credibility when he says he wants to fight for smaller government.

    Joe (33fd9a)

  17. Warren/Ryan2016

    firefirefire (b0457e)

  18. Warren/Ryan2016

    firefirefire (b0457e) — 8/25/2014 @ 11:26 am

    Lieawatha and the Apple That Didn’t Fall Far From the Tree.

    Thanks for the sardonic laugh. It keeps me from crying/rage stroking more than I already am.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)

  19. his debate performance was pitiful

    and he was debating Joe Biden if i remember right

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  20. “his debate performance was pitiful

    and he was debating Joe Biden if i remember right”

    Biden was shamelessly mugging and disrupting Ryan who looked 15 years old. Somebody must have coached Biden and knew that Ryan did not have the stones to tell Biden to shut up. Sarah Palin did better in 2008 but even she did not interrupt Biden when he was lying, which was most of the time.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  21. Ryan’s another in a long line of squishy GOP politicians who need to be replaced, for party unity.

    Just A Guy (08458e)

  22. Ryan seems as though he is maneuvering for a czarship.
    Perhaps take over the cash for clunkers program – just to get his feet wet in d.c.

    mg (31009b)

  23. 10. Yes, he is endorsing Romney.

    21. No kidding, the whole raison d’ etre for Ryan’s politicking, “Party Unity”, really doesn’t have a window extending to Nov. 2016, see Ferguson, MO.

    Sabato today claims his polling says the GOP is giving away a Senate lockdown.

    Democracy has failed comprehensively, we are moving on.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  24. 22. Ima keeping vets and truckers to my back, every thing else is a target.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  25. Reagan OMB Director:

    Our time is short, everyone’s time is short and that’s the problem.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  26. and the haircut, when it comes, is gonna be damn short.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  27. Recall during the debate Ryan took a powder on calling out Biden’s obvious asshattery. No sensible government lets Joe Biden do anything of importance. And Ryan did nothing to point that out. Further he was for MORE WAR above all else. His record is repleat with early stances of fiscal responsibility-followed by possum-like table-folding when push came to shove on almost every issue.

    In short, like his former running mate, Ryan sounds tough and looks good in a suit. But he wants nothing to do with rocking the DC power structure boat.

    Between Romney failing to run an actual campaign (lest he be called RAYCESS) and Ryan going along to get along, Please spare us the RINO feints to more of the same in 2016. To the institutional GOP; be prepared to run a real tough campaign with a candidate who 1. has genuine small government conservative ideals and 2. can finish a sentence expounding on them. Or simply usher into office Her Royal Highness Hillary Rodham Clinton on January 20th, 2017. They need to understand-this really is it. There’s no point to being Dem Lite.

    And further while I would crawl over broken glass laced with bovine excrement to voye agaisnt here, there are not enough of us. ANd Clinton I, while not a great president nor a decent person, was not a bad president. The prospect of Clinton II does not scare many people. You have to ake the case for fiscal responsibility. Or forget it. Forever.

    Bugg (f0dbc7)

  28. 27. I just don’t see any hope at all at the election booth.

    The insiders have a distinct advantage, Cantor-like losses would have to become commonplace.

    A failure to take the Senate is a significant possibility yet there is not a hint of accommodation for the base.

    These guys will go down to the last bullet shooting their base.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  29. how can even the most rabid R get get excited about the idea of returning Mitch McConnell to majority leader?

    Ann Coulter I can see I guess. Maybe that fat guy from Mississippi.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  30. get

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  31. No, Clinton slashed the military and intelligence, ‘that was the army we had to go war with’ he signed the CRA revision, pushed the DOJ and HUD to bully the banks, which led to the subprime bubble, Hillary was willing to arm AQ’s minions in Libya and Syria, as much as her subsequent protestations

    narciso (ee1f88)

  32. “Our time is short, everyone’s time is short and that’s the problem.”

    gary – How many years you been saying that now? How short is short?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. the average time between recessions is 7 or so years I think

    and when the next one comes the Fed will be impotent to do anything but print like mugabe

    run Burger King run get out while you can the hills are alive with the sound of musics

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  34. ” … These guys will go down to the last bullet shooting their base.”

    gary gulrud (46ca75) — 8/26/2014 @ 7:48 pm

    = = = = = = =

    Yep. Seems they hate, loathe and fear the true conservatives and Tea Party types more (much, MUCH more) than they fear the Opposition Party. And, heh-heh, they’re QUITE WILLING to go on the offensive against us. Not-so-much against the Dems/ Progressives/ Statists/ Socialists. Hmmm…

    A_Nonny_Mouse (46b7d8)

  35. 32. daley, if you hadn’t noticed, I’m on a serious roll of late. Check the tape, a day before Ferguson I said, if not verbatim, “The Entitlement class will burn their homes, the DHS will crack down, the police will be decimated and turn tail and then we’ll see what Amerikkkas got”. Give it just 18 mo.

    I ain’t saying I’m better than a blind squirrel, you’re just deaf, blind, mute, anencephalous and a feckless ankle-biter.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  36. 35. Have you noticed daley, German bunds are paying negative interest thru 2017? Goldman Sachs has already down-graded the stormin’ Q2 GDP from 3.0% to 1.5.

    The Ebola outbreak has added Senegal and the Congo. Iceland’s this AM had a 5.2 and 5.6 quakes following yesterday’s 5.7. Obama is going to bomb everyone in Syria. Russia has sent another humanitarian convoy into the Ukraine. Finland is talking joining NATO. Hindis and Pakis are shooting each other officially daily. The UAE and Egypt are bombing Libya. ISIS just slaughtered Turkmen in Iraq(an engraved invitation to Erdogan)…

    If this ain’t an acceleration into the abyss over last year, nothing will convince you.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  37. 35. Argentina is defaulted and the peso crashing. Japan contracted 6.8% Q1 on yearly basis. Half of all student loans behind on payment. France is getting its second cabinet since March. All of Europe is experiencing deflation, the Fed’s greatest fear.

    Doom is in your basement gobbling your stores.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  38. Ostensibly 1.5 Million indentured servants of the Loyal Opposition stayed home in 2012 costing their betters a victory and Amerikkka heaven on earth.

    Guess the GOP is going all out in 2016.


    gary gulrud (46ca75)

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