House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) criticized President Obama for failing to outline a plan for fiscal responsibility in his second inaugural address, saying the president's message to voters was "we will not fix this debt crisis."
"What I was really hoping was he would say, 'I want to deal with this debt crisis before it takes our economy off the rails, before it guarantees our children and our grand children are sated with our debts,' " Ryan said on Laura Ingraham's radio show. "That's really what I was aching to hear."
Ryan attacked Obama's speech for not including direct statements on his plans to deal with entitlement programs.
"There are a lot of Democrats who agree with the need to deal with this. It's a mathematical thing, it's not an ideological thing," he said. "But he basically said we're not going to change these programs, we're not going to reform these programs to prevent this. He basically said we will not fix this debt crisis."
In his speech Obama alluded to his plans for Medicare and Medicaid when he said that the country "must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of healthcare and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."
Ryan, the vice presidential nominee on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket, also acknowledged that it was "bittersweet" to attend the inauguration. Ryan's running mate, Mitt Romney, was not at the event.
"You know, sure it was. It was bittersweet but I just believe that in this country we celebrate the peaceful transition or reaffirmation of power," Ryan said. "And the inauguration ceremony is a great piece of symbolism of what a mature Republic does, and I thought being a part of that was an important symbol to make, which is we peacefully transfer or reaffirm power in this country unlike so many others. And to me, that was an important point to make."