Paul Ryan hits Obama as ‘failed president’ in Reagan Library speech

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) slammed President Obama as a “failed president” and predicted Republicans would take back the White House during an address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Tuesday. 

Ryan invoked the policies of former President Reagan and said the November elections would deliver the GOP the mandate needed to tackle tax and entitlement reform issues, reports said.

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“I believe boldness and clarity of the kind that Ronald Reagan displayed in 1980 offer us the greatest opportunity to create a winning coalition in 2012,” said Ryan. “We will not only win the next election, we have a unique opportunity to sweep and remake the political landscape.”

Ryan hammered President Obama, saying the country faced “not just a failed president but a failed ideology.” 

“We face a pessimistic mood in the nation's capital. A belief that our best days are over and the only thing left to do is to manage the nation's decline,” he said.

Just as in Reagan’s 1980 election, Ryan said Republicans had “the same opportunity today to reject this defeatist attitude and to embrace a positive reform agenda possible to kick start a new era of prosperity, an American renewal, a comeback.”


The high-profile speech added to speculation about Ryan’s possible selection as Romney’s running mate. Asked about joining the ticket during a question-and-answer session following the talk, Ryan said it was “someone else’s decision.”

“That’s a question I would have to have with my wife before I have it with all of you. I like what I’m doing. I’m doing what I’m doing. Don’t underestimate how important Congress is,” he added. 

Ryan praised presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney as a “very sincere, very smart, very committed man.” 

“What I see in Mitt Romney are the kinds of skills, tools, character attributes that you need in a leader,” Ryan said. “He makes decisions. He doesn’t pander.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and freshman Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, both rumored to be on Romney’s shortlist for vice president, have also spoken at the Reagan Library.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan invited Ryan to deliver the address but was unable to attend the event. Reports said Mrs. Reagan, 90, was recovering at home after breaking several ribs in a fall in March.