Republican: Obama's attacks on Paul Ryan 'great' for GOP

President Obama's attacks on the GOP budget are great for the GOP, a senior Republican said Monday. 

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), the GOP's chief deputy whip, said that Obama's public attacks on the 2012 budget crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, only served to elevate the Wisconsin Republican and his fiscal plan. 

"He's kind of entered into this cage match with Paul Ryan, which I think is a bit unusual," Roskam said on WIND radio in Chicago.

"It's great for the Republicans; it's great for Paul Ryan," Roskam added. "But doesn't it seem like he's talking about Paul Ryan a lot?"

ADVERTISEMENT
Obama is taking his case on the budget across the country this week in a series of town hall meetings and interviews with local media affiliates. He accuses the GOP of "ending Medicare as we know it," and of presenting an overly pessimistic vision for the country. 

He singled out Ryan for criticism last week during a closed-door fundraiser, audio of which was captured by CBS News. 

"This is the same guy that voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my healthcare bill — but wasn't paid for," Obama said. "So it's not on the level."


Obama has at times sought to elevate opposition figures as a political punching bag, with mixed results. He and Democrats went after John Boehner (R-Ohio), then the minority leader in the House, in September before the 2010 elections, but the attacks appeared to make no difference. The president pivoted in October of 2010 to attack the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other outside campaign groups spending on behalf of Republicans. 

Ryan ripped the president in a speech last week for the criticism of his budget, but on Sunday suggested he'd try a different tack. 

"I don't see how productive it would be to get into a partisan bickering match with the president," Ryan said Sunday on "Face the Nation" on CBS. "I'm just not going to do that, because we have things to do."