WASHINGTON -- Former Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) said Sunday that if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were president, the nation's fiscal crisis would have been averted.
“Look, if we had a [Hillary] Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles as chief of staff of the White House or president of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now," Ryan said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "[But] that’s not the kind of presidency we’re dealing with right now.” Bowles was chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton, and currently co-chairs the Campaign to Fix The Debt, a bipartisan deficit reduction effort.
The praise was especially noteworthy because speculation abounds in Washington over both Ryan and Clinton's presidential prospects in 2016, although neither has responded to questions about their future plans.
Considered a major star in the GOP, Ryan was noncommittal about plans to run for president in 2016. Asked what he thinks about running, he said, “I don’t.”
“I think it’s just premature," he added, "I’ve got a
In one of a number of jabs at President Obama during his first live interview since losing the November election, Ryan said, "I don't think that the president thinks we actually have a fiscal crisis." He even pulled out a chart to show host David Gregory the dangers of runaway government spending.
Ryan said he believes sequestration, a series of steep cuts to federal spending, "will happen," and blamed congressional Democrats for opposing his efforts and those of other House Republicans to cut other spending instead. Ryan said that if he and GOP running mate
The chairman of the House Budget Committee weighed in on what the Republican party should learn from electoral defeats for the White House and a handful of key Senate races. "Obviously, we have to expand our appeal," he said. "We have to expand our appeal to more people and show how we'll take the country's founding principles and apply them to the problem of the day, solutions to fix our problems.
"We have to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty, better at solving
To that end, Ryan was quick to reject the notion that Republicans in the House were willing to shut down the government, which some of the most conservative members of the chamber had suggested could be a good thing at the height of the budget debates in December.
"We're not interested in shutting the government down," he said. "What happens on March 1 is spending goes down automatically. March 27 is … the moment you're talking about, the continuing resolution expires. We are more than happy to keep spending at those levels going on into the future while we debate how to balance the budget, grow the economy, create economic opportunity. That's the kind of debate the country deserves."