A former chief of staff for Bill Clinton, and the co-chairman for Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility apparently agrees with conservatives that vice presidential pick Paul Ryan is “amazing” and that he displays an impressive intelligence for economic policy.
Hotair.com discovered a 2011 video Erskine Bowles criticizes the White House spending plan and praises Ryan as “amazing” and calls him “sincere,” “honest,” and “straightforward.” Bowles’s praise represents a sharp difference in rhetoric among Democrats, who have tried to paint Ryan as an ideological radical and extremist as soon as he was announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate.
Bowles is one of the most respected economic minds in the Democratic party, and has even been mentioned as a front runner for Secretary of Treasury if President Barack Obama wins a second term.
“Have any of you all met Paul Ryan?” Bowles asked in the clip. “We should get him to come to the university. I’m telling you this guy is amazing.”Bowles continued, “I always thought that I was okay with arithmetic, but this guy can run circles around me. And he is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget that he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did, by $4 trillion.
“The President came out with his own plan and the President as you remember, came out with a budget and I don’t think anybody took that budget very seriously,” Bowles said in the clip. “The Senate voted against it 97 to nothing.”
“He, therefore, after a lot of pressure from folks like me, he came out with a new budget framework and, in that new budget framework, he cut the budget deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years. And, to be candid, this $4 trillion cut was very heavily back-end loaded. So, if you looked at it on a 10-year basis and compared apples-to-apples, it really was about a two and a half trillion dollar cut.” Newsmax
On another occasion in a March 2012 PBS interview, according to Fox News, Bowles
repeated his sentiment that Ryan is a “very smart, stable, honest, hardworking guy.” And in 2010 on PBS, Bowles said: “I wish we had more people like Paul who are thinkers and do their homework.” Newsmax
And on another occassion, Obama even praised Ryan. In 2010, Obama said at a Republican retreat that Ryan had “made a serious proposal” with his budget. Obama criticized the idea of giving “vouchers” for Medicare, but acknowledged the need to address the deficit spending that Medicare and Medicaid fuel.
There has even been mention of Ryan’s work with Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden to make the case that Ryan is more bipartisan than he’s made out to be by Democrats. Ryan and Wyden late last year drafted a new proposal for Medicare — tweaking Ryan’s old plan by offering seniors a choice between government-subsidized private insurance and regular Medicare.
Then there’s the off-mic moment caught in 2011 between Clinton and Ryan backstage at an event.
In the cellphone footage, aired by ABC News at the time, Clinton said he hoped a recent Democratic congressional victory wouldn’t be used “as an excuse to do nothing.”
“My guess is it’s going to sink into paralysis is what’s going to happen,” Ryan told the former president. “And you know the math. I mean, it’s just we knew we were putting ourselves out there. But you’ve got to start this. You’ve got to get out there. You’ve got to get this thing moving.” Fox News