Paul Ryan, 2016?

posted at 12:01 pm on July 23, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Republican Party’s bookish former vice presidential nominee, is starting to look like a candidate for the presidency in 2016.

In August, Ryan will publish a book with a distinctly campaign-themed title, The Way Forward. On Tuesday, the Federal Election Commission approved of a nationwide book tour sponsored by Ryan’s publisher and the Political Action Committee the Wisconsin congressman founded, Prosperity Action PAC.

“The book will address “the state of the conservative movement in America today, discuss how it contrasts with liberal progressivism, and explain what must be done to save what Representative Ryan refers to as the ‘American Idea,’” the FEC proposal read.

This development comes as the congressman prepares to deliver a major address on conservative social policy. Preliminary reports indicate that Ryan hopes to shape the conservative approach to a variety of contentious socio-economic issues including poverty, education, tax and regulation policy, criminal justice reform, and the consolidation and streamlining of social safety net programs.

Interestingly, Ryan, a fiscal conservative known for advocating budgetary restraint, will be advocating for smarter spending rather than austerity in his speech.

“People familiar with the matter said Mr. Ryan’s plan wouldn’t grow or slash the deficit. Instead, it would expand spending in certain areas, such as work incentives, and cut spending in areas that he will argue are not benefiting the poor,” The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The proposals will focus on increasing opportunities for low-income households instead of highlighting ways to cut social welfare programs, said Bob Woodson, president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise who has spent more than a year visiting poor cities with Mr. Ryan.

“He’s coming up with a new construct and I’ve encouraged him,” Mr. Woodson said in an interview. “We cannot and should not generalize about poor people. There are the deserving poor and the undeserving poor. It used to be that way and it became politically incorrect. We are returning to some of the old values that served people very effectively until the welfare reforms of the 1960s.”

This is not Ryan’s first attempt to rebrand his party as one which addresses the concerns of poor and middle class voters. His first effort to address poverty issues from a conservative perspective, however, was met with a flurry of criticism from the left and including more than a handful of accusations of racism.

“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” Ryan told a conservative radio host in March.

In spite of the fact that this precise sentiment was expressed by President Barack Obama, among others, liberal commentators and Democratic congressional representatives said Ryan had exposed his own racial antipathy in this statement.

“When Barack Obama says such things, which are undeniably correct, he is a brave truth-teller; when Paul Ryan says them, he is making an odious play for racist votes,” National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote at the time.

Ryan apologized and clarified his comments, but he shouldn’t have. The manufactured outrage over the House Budget Committee chairman’s choice of words was inevitable, and the charge that Ryan is indulging in “dog whistle” racism will surely be resurrected in the coming months. The attack is an result of the fact that the liberal approach to anti-poverty efforts has few successes to tout. The last defense of the progressive entitlement state is to impugn the motives of those who seek to reform it.

In spite of the objective failure of the War on Poverty to achieve its goals, Democrats continue to enjoy the legacy benefits associated with that campaign. It is a factor contributing to the vast gap between Democrats and Republicans on which party is more trusted to care about everyday concerns important to the vast majority of middle and lower class voters. Any Republican effort to chip away at the perception in the press and among left-of-center voters that the Democratic Party maintains a monopoly on empathy must be vigorously resisted.

Paul Ryan is in for a brutal summer and early fall, but he can take it. His will be a smart campaign aimed at peeling off some layers of President Barack Obama’s winning electoral collation ahead of 2016. At least, that’s what the congressman’s “book tour” looks like in July.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air


Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.


Trackback URL


Comment pages: 1 2 3

Do we want as our candidate the most pro-amnesty Republican there is out there? Well, perhaps other than Ryan’s 2012 running mate:

In addition, the guy was a horrible debater against Biden.
Not good at all.

anotherJoe on July 23, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Illinidiva – you have just been hammered by a Keyboard Tough Guy.

It’s incredible the rhetoric people will use when they don’t have to face and speak to someone. Keyboard strength – is a weakness to be sure.

I have been guilty of it myself.

We can do better.

jake-the-goose on July 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM

You are a fool, Goose. All you need to do is a little research into the filthy rhetoric and hate that this beotch, illinidiva, has directed towards me and every other American in the South.

We can do better is right, fool.

As for you? I do not know what your problem with our desire for national border security is. You are just as vapid and weak as the rest of the divas that give the illegals quarter.

As for being an internet ‘tough guy’?? I simply call them as I see them, sport. Iliinidiva is as vile as they come, and you taking up for her puts you in the same toilet as she.

Get bent, Goose.

bimmcorp on July 23, 2014 at 6:34 PM

And here’s another example of hateful rhetoric from the open borders crowd:

Founder of the racist supremacist group La Raza (“The Race”), the group behind the pro-illegal alien demonstrations across the country, reveals that crowd’s true nature. See link above.

bluegill on July 23, 2014 at 7:07 PM

How’s that?

jake-the-goose on July 23, 2014 at 3:13 PM

I bet you had to search for those and I doubt if anyone remembers Ryan saying any of those things.

bw222 on July 23, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Sweetheart, I moderate my comments on here. Face-to-face I would have no problem using a lot more colorful language to describe your sickening support for illegal alien amnesty.

bluegill on July 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Somehow – you – I beleive

jake-the-goose on July 23, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Best post on the thread…LOL

Redford on July 23, 2014 at 7:55 PM

No. Four years ago I thought Ryan was a conservative. Not anymore. Plus, my dogs are better debaters than Paul Ryan is.

ncjetsfan on July 23, 2014 at 7:59 PM

He couldn’t win a debate with Joe Biteme. The idea of him being president is comical.

alanstern on July 23, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Ryan burned his bridge at the same time Rubio did. Both are not going anywhere.

nobar on July 23, 2014 at 12:06 PM


roy_batty on July 23, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Ryan is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Any chance of running ended when Ryan cut the last budget deal with the vapid Patty Murray and tossed the sequester under the bus.

Athos on July 23, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Tossing the sequester surprised me. I know that republicans were angry that it hit defense harder than other discretionary spending, but you have to start somewhere. And it’s laughable to believe that we’ll tackle harder problems like entitlements when we can’t commit to more than one year of a ten year budget act.

siegler on July 23, 2014 at 8:59 PM

I once believed in Ryan. Then he sold us out with amnesty. No way, no how am I going to support that man. Ever.

Conservchik on July 23, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Absolutely not.

blackgriffin on July 23, 2014 at 10:19 PM

I didn’t even read more than the first few remarks, but Ryan is good decent and would make a much better president than the fool we have in the white house.

Nuff said.

Ryan for President!

Mariadee on July 23, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Ryan’s the quintessential lying jerk. A “fiscal conservative” who wrestled mightily with his socialist opponents to produce a budget that cut virtually NOTHING except promised pay and benefits to veterans and active duty.

He makes Eric Cantor look honest. Tar & Feather the SOB!

rcl on July 24, 2014 at 12:56 AM

I would really rather not run Paul Ryan. He’s one of the weaker members in a weak pack.
Too much to compromise, not enough gain.

V7_Sport on July 24, 2014 at 1:19 AM

Let us hope, a few years hence, our CMH hero doesn’t check into a VA hospital and be unceremoniously dumped out on the street like the defeated fighter in ‘Kick Boxer’.

MaiDee on July 24, 2014 at 1:19 AM

He let Biden walk all over him.

No thanks.

Where do they find these people?

The Born to Lose Shop??

Sherman1864 on July 24, 2014 at 2:21 AM

Illinidiva – you have just been hammered by a Keyboard Tough Guy.

jake-the-goose on July 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM

And now, she’s being romanced by a White Knight. Good thing you and your manly rhetoric saved her from those mean internet tough guys!

Good Solid B-Plus on July 24, 2014 at 2:30 AM

All of you who are saying that Ryan lost the debate with Biden are misremembering the incident. At the time, everyone on here was cheering for him, and it was (is) patently obvious that he was the better debater. But Biden is Biden, and when he says ridiculous things because he has no idea that he has no idea what’s going on, the MSM back him up anyway.

Why have you let liberals convince you that Ryan lost that debate? Shame on you. You know full well that whatever happened, whoever the Republican candidate was, the MSM would have declared Biden the victor. So why are you letting them influence your opinion of what actually happened?

Cheshire_Kat on July 24, 2014 at 7:17 AM

forgetaboutit. You lost support because of your refusal to propose a five year plan to secure the border while the immigration laws are developed. What is it about the words No Amnesty that you don’t understand?

casaler on July 24, 2014 at 7:54 AM

Cheshire_Kat on July 24, 2014 at 7:17 AM

+ 100..Hear!..Hear!..Well stated..:)

Dire Straits on July 24, 2014 at 9:02 AM

There was a time when I would’ve voted for him, but that bloom is off the rose.
No way, he is part of establishment.

mmcnamer1 on July 24, 2014 at 9:08 AM

socialist Democrats.

Aizen on July 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

You know that is redundant, don’t you?

earlgrey on July 24, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Cheshire_Kat on July 24, 2014 at 7:17 AM

I anticipated a response like yours.

Ryan lost the debate by being dominated by Biden.

This has little to do with the MSM.

Ryan should have called Biden out for his loutish demeanor, but did not.

What about Romney putting Obama on the ropes in their first debate only to back down in the following two?

Romney also should have been more forceful.

I am not ashamed, if you will, of my memory of the debates.

Sherman1864 on July 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM


rdbrewer on July 24, 2014 at 2:01 PM

This S.O.B scrapped the sequester, the only thing around that actually caused a little reduction in spending.

What was the thinking on that?

rdbrewer on July 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM

This has to be a joke. Ryan has burned literally every bridge he had with conservatives. I used to think he was the future of the party…and possibly the nation…but no longer. The best he can hope for is a cabinet level position in a Republican administration. His political career upside is non-existent.

ScottiesRule on July 24, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Paul Ryan just appeared on Greta (FOX)- he has started a new conversation.

Who knows where it ends up – but he has led – more than most in Congress – that waste land.

jake-the-goose on July 24, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Republican Party’s bookish former vice presidential nominee, is starting to look like a candidate for the presidency in 2016.

Only if you’re a RINO idiot.

Jaibones on July 24, 2014 at 7:38 PM



You get the picture?

Never vote for this Open Borders sellout again.

PappyD61 on July 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

The last “compassionate conservative” President added trillions of debt and helped destroy the Republican brand.We sure as heck don’t need another one.

redware on July 25, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Republican Party’s bookish former vice presidential nominee, is starting to look like a candidate for the presidency in 2016.
… [etc] …
Paul Ryan is in for a brutal summer and early fall, but he can take it. His will be a smart campaign aimed at peeling off some layers of President Barack Obama’s winning electoral collation ahead of 2016.

lot of copy, this

Ryan couldn’t peel a banana in the last election

Did the Chamber of Commerce body snatchers take over another seed pod?

As long as you do not go to sleep, you are safe

entagor on July 26, 2014 at 11:28 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3