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Thursday, March 6, 2014

 10:47 AM 

Ryan tells CPAC the 'center of gravity is shifting'

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan told the Conservative Political Action Conference today that momentum is on the side of Republicans heading into the 2014 elections.

Ryan, R-Janesville, called the GOP "the party of ideas," while arguing Dems would overreach in a "50-yard dash" campaign.

"They’re going to run from their record," Ryan said. "They’re going to point fingers, and they’re going to try and make us the villain in their morality play."

The congressman called President Obama's agenda a "total fiasco" and said Dems' focus on income inequality shows "they’re out of ideas."

"I’ve been in politics long enough to know that if you throw your weight around like this, you will get thrown out of office," Ryan said. "That is not just how a majority party acts."

The congressman also rejected arguments from Dems that the GOP is engaged in a "civil war" between tea party conservatives and establishment Republicans, referring to it instead as "creative tension."

"What I see is a vibrant debate," Ryan said. "We are figuring out the best way to apply our principles to the challenges of the day."

Ryan added the debate is often about tactics rather than policy, and praised proposals from several fellow Republican lawmakers on a wide range of issues, including the immigration reform proposal backed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida -- also considered a frontrunner for the party's 2016 presidential nod.

He also compared the "battle of ideas" over his budget proposals as chairman of the House Budget Committee in recent years to the Reagan Revolution, noting that cutting taxes was considered controversial at that time in GOP circles.

"When I introduced my budget for the first time 2008, I had just eight co-sponsors. ... Then the Tea Party members got elected, and now the House has passed it three years in a row," Ryan said. "This is how it always is: you fight it out, you figure out what works, you come together. Then you win.

"It’s messy, it's noisy and it's a little bit uncomfortable, but the center of gravity is shifting."


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