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Axelrod: Romney, Ryan share ‘extreme’ views

Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod on Sunday sought to tie GOP candidate Mitt Romney to the controversial budget plan of his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), calling them “kindred spirits,” who shared "extreme" views. 

“Gov. Romney has embraced many of the positions that Congressman Ryan exposes, as extreme as they sound,” Axelrod said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

He was asked by host Candy Crowley if Romney’s selection Saturday of Ryan to be his vice presidential pick had “shaken up the race.”

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“It’s helped further define the race, I don’t think it’s shaken up the race,” said Axelrod. 

“He’s for the trillions of dollars in tax cuts for millionaires,” he said. “Congressman Ryan had a proposal in 2010, if you took Gov. Romney’s tax returns and applied the changes that Congressman Ryan wanted to make to the tax system, Gov. Romney would pay less than 1 percent on his taxes.“

“How is that going to strengthen our country, strengthen our economy, help the middle class,” asked Axelrod.



Democrats have launched a tough attack on Ryan with a new website and video released late Saturday hammering the House Budget Committee chairman on his proposals.


The president’s campaign is making Ryan’s budget which would cut $5 trillion in spending, overhaul the tax code and shift Medicare to a subsidized private insurance model a centerpiece of their campaign attacks, believing voters will reject the plan when they learn more about its details.

On Sunday, Axelrod continued those attacks, saying that while President Obama thinks Ryan is “a perfectly genial and bright guy,” he strongly disagrees with his policies. 

“Congressman Ryan is a right wing ideologue and that’s reflected in the positions he’s taken. You know the budget that he constructed for the House Republicans that would include trillions of dollars in new tax cuts skewed to the wealthy, so that we would be giving a millionaire $250,000 tax cuts while we’re cutting college aid for kids and research and development and a whole range of things we need to grow. … He disagrees with Congressman Ryan’s that we should turn Medicare into a voucher program,” said Axelrod. 

“He disagrees with Congressman Ryan on a woman’s right to choose, Congressman Ryan would ban a woman’s right to choose even in cases of rape or incest,” he continued. 

Axelrod described Ryan as a “genial person, but his views are quite harsh.”

In particular he focused his criticisms on Ryan’s proposals for reforming Medicare, which Democrats say would kill the program. Ryan has worked with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) on a plan, but Democratic leaders have panned the proposal. 

“I just disagree with Sen. Wyden on this and Cong. Ryan and so have most of the experts who have looked at his and said the way this thing is constructed that Medicare would be in a death spiral under this plan and ultimately it would raise costs by thousands of dollars,” said Axelrod.

“This is the second iteration of Congressman Ryan’s attempt to do away with Medicare. He did this in the last budget as well and Newt Gingrich called it ‘right-wing social engineering’ and he was right about that,” he added.

Axelrod called Ryan's plan a “Trojan horse” that would lead to Medicare’s “demise.”