Ryan on budget fight - Let's keep it in the family

The Sunday morning shows trotted out the inevitable topic of the “GOP Civil War” yet again today (since there’s really no topic they’d rather talk about), and Paul Ryan was the target du jour. Meet the Press, after an unending series of shows demanding to know why Republicans can’t be reasonable and come to an agreement with Democrats and just “do their job” lost no time in grilling the Congressman on how he could possibly put up with the elements in his own party who didn’t agree with him. Can’t you Republicans all just get along?


Rep. Paul Ryan says he was frustrated with conservative groups that protested the bipartisan budget deal he helped engineer.

The House Budget Committee chairman tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that these groups are “very important elements” of the conservative movement. But the Wisconsin Republican says such discussions should be kept “within the family.”

Ryan says he and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio were frustrated that the groups voiced opposition to the budget agreement before it had been reached.

That’s probably not a bad idea, but, “keeping it in the family” is a bit harder when that’s all the press wants to talk about. Of course, once you’ve accepted the invitation to come on the shows, it’s rather hard to dictate what they want to talk about. A snappy answer of, “that’s none of your business” doesn’t play too well either.

He was also asked about the rather irate responses from Speaker Boehner on the same subject, and he broke out the Irish.

House Speaker John Boehner was peeved last week at conservative groups that blasted a bipartisan budget agreement before one was even announced. But House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan said it was really just that Irish temper of his.

“I think John just kind of got his Irish up. He was frustrated that these groups came out against our budget agreement before we reached a budget agreement. I was frustrated too,” Ryan said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Three leading conservative groups – Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America and Americans for Prosperity – have all been in a dispute with Boehner over last week’s budget deal.


This is really the larger challenge facing the GOP leadership in Washington in the wake of the House deal. Heritage, CFG and the other groups really have the same goals as Paul Ryan. They’re just currently not looking at the same map in terms of how to get from Point A to Point B. And that really is a conversation they should have in private. But no matter what the talking heads say, they really have no interest in talking about Congress getting something done as long as the GOP is in charge of the lower chamber. Given the opportunity, they’ll fan the flames of GOP domestic violence every chance they get, just like they did in the 2012 primary debates.

Ryan and Boehner can’t really avoid doing any press, but they should get better at softening their answers and forcing the media to give them the space to have these discussions behind closed doors. Paul Ryan didn’t do too badly at it today, but they could all use a bit more practice.

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John Stossel 1:00 PM | June 15, 2024