tv Washington Journal Craig Gilbert Charlie Sykes CSPAN November 16, 2018 8:00pm-9:25pm EST
coming up on c-span, a look at the legacy of house speaker paul ryan, who is retiring after the lame-duck session. after that, president trump awarding the medal of freedom to seven liters in sports, politics, the judiciary, entertainment, and philanthropy. and starting it 10:05, newsmakers with representative peter defazio, the likely incoming chair of the house transportation committee. then the communicators, with ftc commissioner know if, on privacy and internet regulation -- noah phillips, on privacy and internet relation. speaker paul ryan. gilbert,s is craig thank you for being here. and in milwaukee, charlie sykes, the contributing editor for the weekly standard. thank you for being here as well. -- what will be, do you think, the legacy of speaker
ryan. charlie sykes, why don't you go first. guest 2: i think it will be quite mixed. paul ryan was on track to be the intellectual movement -- leader of the movement as well as the republican party in congress. the contribution he made to pushing real reforms, entitlement reforms, getting a handle on the budget issues and the national debt were significant a compliments and yet, donald trump came along and as a result, what ryan represented in the republican party i think has been largely eclipsed. paul is going to cite the tax cuts and a lot of regulatory reforms, economic growth. the reality is someone whose career was centered around the debt and deficit will be leaving congress with a trillion dollar a year deficit as far as the eye
can see and no solution on the horizon for the national debt and that is a rather dramatic irony in paul ryan's career. host: craig gilbert. guest 1: i think what charlie said reflects the fact that here is a guy who had a long career, 20 years in congress. for much of that time, he was a national figure on the ticket in 2012 with mitt romney and then donald trump comes along. for some time, we are going to view paul ryan through that prism and the prism of donald trump's politics, how paul ryan handled that, people in wisconsin for example -- people elsewhere in the state, many of them will view ryan through the filter of either criticism of donald trump or his close support of donald trump while he was speaker.
of course, the tax cut will be his most concrete legacy. on entitlement reform, that was something he did not pass. i think his chief legacy is he made entitlement reform a kind of more popular issue within the republican caucus, but not among the american public. host: let's begin with december 2017 and speaker ryan celebrating the passage of the republican tax cut. [video clip] >> the message to the hard-working taxpayers of america is your tax relief is on its way. that is what is happening. the message to the families in america who have been struggling, your tax rates are going down and your paychecks are going up. this is the kind of relief americans deserve. this is the kind of tax reform that gets our economy growing. this gets us better wages,
bigger paychecks, a simpler tax system. this gets the american economy competitive in the global economy. this is one of the most important things we could do for all the people we represent. this is generational and we are so excited that we are going to launch next year, this fantastic tax reform so the american people can see how we truly reach our economic growth and potential and if it weren't for all the leadership of the men and women up here, this would not have been made possible. this drive does motivation on tax cuts come from for paul ryan? paul paul ryan -- guest 1: ryan -- guest 2: paul ryan really is a policy wonk. this dream has really been part of the conservative republican orthodoxy for some time. republicans cut taxes and hope
to pay for them with economic growth and the math never quite adds up. moment really encapsulates. you ask about the paul ryan legacy, that encapsulates -- i hate to say this, the faustian bargain paul ryan made with donald trump. paul ryan and donald trump are polar opposites in every respect and their -- in their interest to policy, their approach to decency and their vision of what the republican party should be. paul ryan made the calculation that in order to get that moment, he was going to overlook a whole lot of things and he was going to turn a blind eye to the president's rhetoric and some of his policies, his style of
governing. paul ryan was outspoken during the campaign about what donald trump did and the way he behaved. he made the bargain, if i can get tax reform, if i can get changes to obamacare, i am willing to put up with x. bargain, youtian get what you want and paul ryan got what he wanted with tax reform. i think we will come back to at what cost. what was the price tag for what paul ryan got with that bargain? that was the high point of paul ryan's speakership. i think history will look back and say all the other things that happened on your watch, did it add up to be worth that tax cut. host: how do you think he would answer that question right now? guest 1: he would answer the
question yes. when he leaves office and steps back and has a little bit more perspective, i wonder whether he will have the same answer. i have gotten no indication he doesn't think it was worth it. the perspective of history is often different than the perspective of the new cycle. craig gets the same emails i do, touting the tax cut and the economy and it is almost an alternative reality to what comes out of the white house. the paul ryan vision of what is happening and at some point i think he will have to confront ist and i am hoping -- he nimble enough to recognize that that price tag was a hell of a lot higher than i think he thought it would be. also on the politics --guest 1: also on the politics.
the tax cut has appeared to have very little positive impact. if you think of what group of voters you would expect to be moved in a positive way by the tax cut, you begin by looking at the suburbs and that is where republicans took a beating in this election not because of the tax cut but because of the politics of the president and his rhetoric and other issues. it was overwhelmed by that and the tax cut did not bring with it the political benefits republicans were hoping for an you saw it with that segment of the electorate. republicans were really heard. i think paul ryan made the count -- the calculation more broadly that he could not function as be aer nba foil, -- and foil, be defined as a critic of president trump way he was during the campaign. i think he also saw his numbers with republican voters thinking
when he was defined as a critic and seen as a critic of president trump. i think he would say today i could not have functioned as speaker playing that role for better or for worse. i think everybody else will have to make their own judgments about how he handled that. host: the president has been critical of him that he blames the losses in the house on paul ryan not raising enough money. guest 1: paul ryan has actually .een a very prolific fundraiser if you were going to criticize him, i am not sure that would be the criticism even though republicans were at a fund-raising disadvantage. there is plenty of blame to go around on the republican side and i think supporters of paul ryan would point to things the president did and the president said and their impact on these suburban districts where
republicans fared so poorly. host: charlie? is absolutely right. the republican party made a choice in 2016 and continued to make the choice. it chose donald trump as opposed to paul ryan. i think by election day, paul ryan looked at the poll numbers and realized there is no way i can run the house of representatives unless i go all in with trump. if you are going to appease donald trump, you have to go 100%. i think paul ryan probably should have understood that. at the very end when he mildly pointed out that the president of the united states cannot revoke birthright citizenship by executive order, the president, after all the things they have gone through and all the ways in which paul ryan has acquiesced to donald trump, the president
rips paul ryan for that and throws them under the bus for losing the house of representatives. host: we want to get our viewers' thoughts. the junkies have been watching paul ryan and we want to know your thoughts as well. democrats, 202-748-8000. republicans, 202-748-8001. independents, 202-748-8002. a line for wisconsin residents. we want to hear from you, 202-748-8003. i want to go back to one of paul ryan's first speeches as speaker in 2015 and talking about congress's obligation to the u.s. taxpayer. [video clip] >> they are working hard, paying a lot, trying to do right by my family's. they never get a raise, they never get a break, the bills keep piling up. they are working harder than ever before to get ahead and falling farther behind.
they feel robbed. they feel cheated of their birthright. they are not asking for any favors. faith they will ever get it. they look at washington and all they see is chaos. what a relief to them it would be if we finally got our acts together. what a weight off of their shoulders. how reassuring it would be if we grew ourax code, economy, strengthened our military, lifted people out of poverty and paid down our debt. [cheers and applause]
at this point, nothing could be more inspiring than a job well done. nothing could stir the heart more than real, concrete results. the cynics will scoff. they will say it is not possible. you better believe we are going to try. het: craig gilbert, did accomplish what he set out to accomplish? guest 1: one thing that has happened is we have redefined chaos. he was talking about chaos back then and i think it has been a pretty chaotic period of time since that speech was made. obviously he got some things done and you expect when one party has unified control of washington to get some things done. what has happened over the last two years fits into the broader
context of the political era we are living in, the voters give one party -- hand over all the keys and then it is -- at the first available opportunity, they take one of those keys back and revoke monopoly control, what is -- which is just what happened on november 6th. host: charlie sykes? guest 2: i am reminded that paul ryan never wanted to be speaker of the house of representatives. i think because in part he understood it was an impossible job and you have to herd cats in a dysfunctional institution. craig is right, we have redefined chaos and i don't think going forward you are going to be seeing washington getting its house in order in any kind of way. it does strike me the hopeful message of paul ryan and the alternative that could have been
had donald trump not come along in our dramatic turn politics and republican politics by going with donald trump as opposed to somebody like paul ryan. as i am listening to this, it comes back over me again the disappointment -- disappointment in how this ended up because paul ryan -- could have made a -- can you turn around the federal government, do all those things? is prettyhink that obvious. host: in that speech, he gets a standing ovation when he talks about the debts of this country. take a look at his first appearance in -- on "washington journal" in 1995. [video clip] >> republicans are trying to
figure out what our overall goal is prayed we have to balance the budget and get to a zero deficit. each year we build a deficit which adds to our national debt. national debt adds about $76,000 for a family of 4 and results in higher interest rates and this gets past on to future generations -- passed on to future generations. we absolutely have to eliminate this debt. going into this process, we use fundamental principles, what does the federal government do today? should it be doing these things question mark if the federal government were not involved in this area, should it be? would we restart these programs? we are looking at their -- these programs from the beginning. in some ways, this debt and deficit is a blessing in disguise because it does force
the issue of asking what it is we really want our federal government to do. 1995, aat was back in very young paul ryan working on capitol hill. he went on to win his seat in 1998 and won reelection all the way up into 2016 and is now retiring in january. charlie sykes, listening to a young paul ryan. guest 2: that is really striking because i remember meeting him a little bit more than 20 years ago and somebody said it is a guy running for congress and my first impression was he is 17 years old. you sit down and talk with him and within five minutes begin to think this guy is the real deal. craig knows this, but i used to have a radio talk show in milwaukee. i don't think i am exaggerating period,ver that 20 year i probably had him on 100 times talking about the debt and the
deficit and how crucial it was and the importance of getting a handle on all of this. it is profoundly disorienting to me at this moment where he is leading control of the government with the deficit exploding again, the debt exploding again because this really defined for many years his contribution. i think he brought in his approach to deal with poverty and make the republican party more inclusive, his view of immigration radically different than donald trump. at the heart of paul ryan's legacy has to be this focus on the debt and the deficit. host: what were you thinking watching that? guest 1: i met paul ryan before he ran for congress, probably around that time he was a staffer. interesting to see that, some
things haven't changed. v debt and the deficit -- the debt and the deficit have checkered history as an issue and on the republican side, not just under president trump, but under president george w. bush where republicans passed -- did some things that later caused a conservative backlash because of andimpact on the government now under president trump, kind of a little bit of the same story with respect to tax cut and we are not going to see and i don't know if we will ever see the kinds of sweeping spending reforms, entitlement overhauls, entitlement cuts paul ryan has made a signature. the other big question about all those things is how popular are they with the american public? paul ryan had a certain idea on the political side of what
republicans needed to do to win election. it was different than the donald trump formula. whether his formula would have been a winning formula or not, we won't know. host: let's hear from our viewers. richard is a republican, thank you for waiting. caller: good morning. paul ryan was a failure at running for vice president. american people at that time saw right through him when paul ryan goes home and looks at his children and this country has a $22 trillion debt, paul ryan is also nothing more than a john boehner clone. he is a chamber of commerce whatever is good for the chamber of commerce is good for him. i honestly believe that he has toked behind the scenes continue to let the flow of
immigrants into this country. host: who would you have liked to see be speaker for republicans? caller: now? host: well they are not going to now, in the next congress. who would you have liked to see instead of paul ryan win john boehner stepped down -- when john boehner stepped down? caller: it is hard to say. i like medals. i like the guy that just lost to mccarthy. host: jim jordan. caller: jim jordan. we are talking about conservative guys. that 1995 paul ryan, that was a great guy back then. i promise you this man is no more than a moderate, there is nothing conservative about him. he knows it. -- you can tell he conservatives and
the republican party in the back. we are talking about two very different notions of conservatism and this gets at the fault lines in the party and the difference between what it means to be a paul ryan republican and a donald trump republican. paul ryan kind of is a chamber of commerce republican. he is closer to chamber of commerce and big business on immigration. they have a more liberal view than the trump side of the party. --is closer to them on taxes there is a fault line the caller --iculates and i don't know i don't know the paul ryan of today is that different in terms of what he thinks and where his policies are than the paul ryan of 1995. host: charlie sykes? guest 2: i find it difficult to
untangle some of that trumpian logic you heard, the lashing out at paul ryan because of the $22 trillion debt and yet this is somebody who is a supporter of the president. in other words, paul ryan is to blame, but not the president who pushed the tax cuts and said he wasn't interested in any sort of entitlement reform. he liked the paul ryan of 1995 who was rather orthodox in the conservative approach to fiscal issues, but apparently not later. the republican party i think really does have to wrestle with what is its definition of conservatism and a republican party that does not understand the conservative credentials of paul ryan i think is really lost in the ryan, i think, is lost in the wilderness. that is where we are today. host: we are speaking to charlie
sykes. he mentioned his radio show indivisible, he was the head of .hat radio show we also have craig gilbert with the milwaukee journal sentinel. when did you start covering paul ryan? election tohis congress. i have been in washington pretty much the whole time he has been in congress. his political career. host: that caller also mentioned when paul ryan was the running mate for mitt romney in 2012, he said people could see right through him. in 2012o show paul ryan campaigning in colorado. [video clip] >> last night we witnessed for the third time a man who is ready to be a great president. [applause]
what we witnessed was a man with a vision, a man with bold ideas, solutions. witnessed was a president out of ideas. a president who has no record to run on. presidenttnessed is a who is simply offering more of the center you know what, we cannot afford four more -- more of the same. you know what, we cannot afford four more years of the same. we need mitt romney to put us back on track. [applause] that president is offering is more of the same, more borrowing, spending, taxing, money printing. if that worked, we would be entering a golden age along with greece. [laughter] ago he came here to
denver, offered so much hope, so much change. candidate obama said if you don't have fresh ideas, you use stale tactics to scare voters. if you don't have a record to run on, you paint your opponent as someone to run from. you make a big election about small things. four yearst he said ago. that is exactly what he has become. we are not going to fall for it. host: vice presidential candidate paul ryan back in 2012, campaigning. this tweet, paul ryan sending out this picture. an old friend dropped by to ask for directions to his new office. mitt romney in the speaker's office. what do you think about his vice presidential bid and how he campaigned in 2012? guest: it was an extraordinary moment for conservatives and wisconsin conservatives.
i think he did a pretty good job. the results of that election were not about paul ryan. that was about president barack obama and mitt romney. i want to go back to something which was before, important. you had the tea party movement, needryan talking about the to get a handle on the deficit in the -- and the debt. it turns out the republican party or the electric were not that interested in fiscal restraint. as craig pointed out, trump comes along, completely redefines the approach to those issues. republicans who were all in on the tea party go we are not that interested in entitlement reform, the debt and deficit. it was like a switch. in 2012, you looked at paul ryan, and i think a lot of republicans and conservatives
said this is the future of the republican party and conservative movement. that was obviously not the case. host: let's go to tim, north carolina, a democrat. not paul ryan and all the other republicans earlier this year in fact getting off of the titanic? host: craig gilbert? guest: i think he is talking about retirements. host: republicans retiring, getting off the titanic. guest: with respect to all right, the speakership is a finite job. it has a time limit. speakers do not last very long. he knew this would be his last job in congress. it would only go on so long. obviously, the discomfort and position he was with in with respect to the trump presidency, but he was not the only person retiring.
this is not new. we have seen this before in both parties were you have a flood of retirement. it did not look good for republicans in terms of retaining a majority this cycle. to 2012, as charlie noted, when paul ryan was selected, he was seen as the future of the republican party. if you look at the way that ticket performed around the country, including his home state of wisconsin compared to what happened in 2016 with trump and the other day in the midterm elections, it is interesting how differently the map looks under /ryan ticket and the trump/pence ticket.
outperformedeally romney in northern wisconsin, republicans lost ground in 2018. were donald trump underperformed romney in republican suburbs and democratic cities, that is where republicans really lost ground. gainedined scott walker support over his last election in places where donald trump her performed and lost where underperformed. you see that realignment occurring. host: let's go to bill in wisconsin. a republican. caller: thank you for playing the tape back. i think that shows the promise we expected. what conservatives really felt.
unfortunately, today, he is a national level for term limits. unfortunately, the swap back to swamp gotwa -- the to him. when it came time to execute, he came up way short. [video clip] >> you all know i did not seek this job. i took it reluctantly. i have given this job everything i have. for havingegrets accepted this responsibility. this has been one of the two greatest honors of my life. the job provides incredible opportunities, but the truth is it is easy for it to take over everything in your life. you cannot just let that happen. there are other things in life, namely your time as a husband and a dad, which is the other great honor of my life.
that is why today i'm announcing this year will be my last one as a member of the house. to be clear, i am not residing. i intend to sell my term as i termlected -- fill my as i was elected to do. believe,ost hard to but i have been a member of congress for almost two decades. this is my 20th year in congress. my kids were not even born when i was first elected. our oldest was 13 years old when i became speaker. now all three of our kids are teenagers. one thing i have learned about idea of ans their ideal weekend is not necessarily to spend all their time with their parents. what i realized is if i am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend at. -- dad.
i just cannot let that happen. i will be setting new priorities in my life. i will also be leaving incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. host: that was paul ryan in april of this year, announcing his retirement. charlie sykes, your thoughts? guest: i think there were three things at work, maybe four. i think he saw the blue wave coming. i think he got as much work as he expected to get done. it was not going to get better. the truck era was not going to eradesk trunk -- the trump was not going to get any prettier. he did not necessarily think the next two years we're going to be any more tolerable than the last two. that iy it is the cliche want to spend more time with my family. very few people actually leave public office and spend more
time with their family. i think there was an element of sincerity as well because paul ryan is a committed family man. seeing what was coming, looking around and saying whatever my legislative agenda is, i have done the most i am able to do. who knows what donald trump is going to do. two years of being joined at the hip with donald trump was enough for paul ryan. host: jim, independent. caller: good morning. let me lay some foundation, and i will bring it home to paul ryan. demiserse this country's we must expose the new paradigm of nationalism and globalism. we have to embrace social democratic principles in our system. we must expose the difference between democratic socialism, which is globalism, and american
nationalism, which must incorporate social democratic policies. this is the way we are going to address low income individuals and the benefits of a nationstate. we have to show people what american citizenship can do for them. paradigm of to this republican and democrat. paul ryan just did not get i t. he missed this whole thing by miles. of are losing taxes because demographics. in six to 10 years, texas is gone. you are probably not going to win florida. you need to change the paradigm. ryan never got it. host: ok, craig gilbert. guest: i'm not sure exactly where the caller was going with that paradigm. it gets back to different notions. it is true that paul ryan had a certain vision of the republican
party, which was, compared to donald trump, more setting a different rhetorical tone. less divisive, let's travel. -- less traveled. tribal. more moderate in town. in some ways more conservative in terms of policy then donald trump. really different approaches in style, andetoric, also substance. the interesting thing is that electionump won an following a very different political path. running on a very different political path. he showed that could work in one election. we will see whether or not it
can work in another election. it was really a totally different direction that paul ryan had been talking about throughout, particularly on issues like immigration, on what he thought it would take to .ppeal to voters in the center that will be part of how we look at paul ryan in a political sense about where his political andon fit in to all of this how compelling a vision it was. host: let's go to paul in montana. publican. caller: good morning. out to like to point charlie sykes that those are not entitlements. those are funded liabilities. there is a big difference. although i do not have a syndicated talkshow, i am an economist enough to realize
there is a specific difference. on the larger issue, with regards to paul ryan, i feel like both of your guests are hiding behind trump instead of saying paul ryan was basically a failure. he is not what he is made out to be. $1.6u can conclude trillion in tax breaks for the 1% is good policy because of your inherent economic genius, then let's make him president of the world. host: thank you. charlie, why don't you take that one. guest: i think he was a policy wonk. point on your entitlements. the term entitlement is used as shorthand for expenditures we need to get a handle on if we're ever going to get a handle on the debt.
the tax cut was puzzling to me. i understand why conservative republicans always want to cut taxes. once it became obvious that we were not going to get a handle on any of the great spending engine, it was one of those moments where you said, are you still going to explode the deficit knowing you don't have a plan? to what paulsite ryan and his many charts, which he loved, would have predicted about all this. i think that was unfortunate, that paul ryan went along with a tax cut. i think his original version, correct me if i am wrong, but he was originally talking about tax reform that would have been revenue neutral. the tax bill they eventually came out with was not exactly what i think he had in mind in the first place. art, let's go to
wisconsin, independent. hi, art. caller: hello, this is eric. host: i'm sorry, eric. go ahead. caller: nice to see charlie and craig. in independente, that tends to lean right. the previous conservative colors who have labeled -- callers who have labeled ryan has a failure or not conservative enough, this is the group that seems to not want to compromise on anything. it is our way or the highway. ryan, once you get into the legislature, realizes you're going to have to make copper misys at some point to get legislation accomplished. i think paul is a good person, a good man. everything i have seen, i have had a handshake opportunity once or twice. i think he has done the best he can.
i think he is somebody that has tried to it here to his principles. i think he is more conservative than i am. i think he has had to make compromises to get things done. i think paul ryan is very conservative in many ways. the earlier paul ryan, i think it is true that we should not look at paul ryan purely through the trump filter. he will be evaluated retrospectively for his own political policy agenda, which is a well-defined one. people will make their own judgments about that. paul ryan on the dimension of style and rhetoric and had a morepolitics pragmatic streak. he was certainly someone who had
good relationships with people across the isle. affable guy, not a hater, not a bomb thrower. in that respect, i think he kind of represented a certain style politics that i think people in as onarties could embrace a level of civility, and i think that is part of his legacy. host: go ahead. guest: that is a really good point. paul ryan is a decent human being. we are going to be evaluating paul ryan through the lens of donald trump and his decision to cooperate with donald trump. that is going to be a stain for a long time. paul ryan was involved in some very interesting rethinking of conservativism and american
politics in the years before donald trump. as recently as 2012, he was talking about the difference between the makers and the takers. afterwards, he said i want to apologize for that. i want to change my perspective. unfair wayat was an of looking at the american public. he began this interesting project to reach out to central cities, people who worked with poverty and said which programs might actually work? can we rethink the conservative approach to people who are not privileged, people who are struggling in this country. interestingy project on his part that became completely invisible when donald trump came along. the is, where was paul ryan going? part of his contribution is he was not rigid. he was willing to rethink some
things. unfortunately, that got derailed with the rise of trumpism. the way conservatism has been redefined by one issue. go back to 2012, conservative spokesman in conservative media love paul ryan. nobody questioned his conservative credentials. between 2012 2016, the republican party redefined conservatism around immigration. unless you were a hardliner on immigration, donald trump's policies and rhetoric on immigration, then you are not a real conservative. that is where paul ryan fell out of step, which will have long-term implications for the republican party. host: that call reminded me of the deal he struck with patty murray. guest: i was thinking about that. that was a compromise to keep the wheels turning in washington.
it was a classic washington compromise. get to two parties to keep the lights on. one interesting thing i was thinking about is i think one thing to understand about paul ryan is his district. the southern wisconsin district used to be a 50-50 district. he became more republican over the time he held it because of redistricting. the party made it more republican and also the cross currents in wisconsin. ,t was not a typical district modern-day republican district. it has three democratic cities. janesville, racine, and kenosha. one of those has a significant african-american appellation. they are part of his constituency. -- population. they are part of his constituency. they may be did not necessarily vote for him, but he had
relationships and dialogue with these people. citydwellers, and which is not true of a lot of house republicans. i think that also played into that side of paul ryan, the outreach side. is trying to have a conversation with the people you disagree with without it devolving into a food fight. host: let's go to marlene in north carolina, independent. caller: good morning. i'm listening to this. don't laugh, my family thought in the revolutionary war. -- fought in the revolutionary war. if they were alive, they would probably be overthrown this government. paul ryan doesn't have to worry about is the future. in one year, at the age of 50,
he can start collecting his $85,000 a year pension after 20 years of service. with someone who is working, and average person income12.5% of their into social security for 40 maybe 50 years, 60 years, walking away with $20,000 a year. how does that compute? half of that 12.5% they are paying is after-tax dollars. most people don't realize that they federal tax on that money before it is even put in social security. that point.l take charlie sykes. guest: this is one of the questions we will have to confront as a country. running up the debt and deficit, and i keep coming back tell this
because i'm having flashbacks to all the times i talked to paul ryan about it, if we keep doing this, will we be able to keep the promise of social security? this is one of the questions. whatever policy you come up with, is there a point where we cannot fulfill our obligations because we did not get our house in order? i think it was necessary to begin a conversation. how can we make these programs sustainable in the long run? make sure we don't hit some demographic brick wall where we are not able to pay out the obligations we have. the unfunded liability in some of these programs is pretty scary. neither party has been willing to confront it. paul ryan has said we need to talk about this. we need to plan for that time when the baby boomers have all retired, and we have huge obligations. are we going to be able to keep the promise?
i understand people will disagree with some of the things he came up with, but i don't think anybody else was willing to raise their hand and say we need to confront this. host: it is something he talked about a lot. listen to him in march of 2008. the ranking budget committee member. [video clip] >> i'm trying to propose a solution. my solution has three goals. of healthe mission and retirement security for all americans. i juste burden of debt described off the next generation, and make us more competitive. i don't want to just survive international competition. i want us to win it. fixing in making solid these health care and retirement programs and giving
all-americans universal access to affordable health insurance, which is what my plan does. revenue, howoss of is the government going to make that up? >> you bring it under a sustainable spending that. -- pa th. i reform these programs so they don't cost as much in the future. code so it is more entrepreneurial. i asked the budget office to look at my plan and the status lraise see which wil and standard of living. policy, iturrent
goes down. the amount of tax increasing is so crushing it would grind our halt.y to the the cbo says my plan increases the status of living for generations. guest: the roadmap, which we are talking about, was a pretty sweeping audacious document. whether you liked it or didn't, it was pretty far-reaching. he moved the republican membership in congress a pretty big distance on these issues. bumping up against the political
advocating what are effectively hold accident benefits at the same time -- of benefits at the same time you are giving tax cuts to wealthy people, that is a political mountain republican party has never found a way to climb. host: your thoughts? guest: charlie is right. he used the word audacious. this was gutsy by paul ryan. he was a backbencher wendy and party -- when the republican party did not want to deal with this. when he was put on the can to ticketon the republican thought he would be touching the third rail of american politics.
they did not win, but i do not think that was part of it. we had a situation where we had two political parties, neither of which want to confront the challenge they had. one other night about the tax cut -- point about the tax-cut, ryan was never able to come up with an answer for the growing inequality of wealth in this country, which has become a significant problem. i'm not sure conservatives have really come to grip with the consequences of the country in which the gap between the rich and poor is so huge. if they had come up with it, there is the populist rhetoric, but the tax cut is aimed at the wealthy. host: we will go to morton in
new jersey, independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am concerned the problem with speaker ryan is the problem with grassley and mcconnell. they do not realize the demographics in this country are changing. janesville, wisconsin, is not really a cross-section of america. speaker ryan does not understand the changes happening in this country. there is a tremendous gap in inequality. if you represent a district that is not represent the true demographic of america, you have a problem. thank you for taking my call. host: let's go back to charlie sykes on that one. guest: i'm not sure. i think craig pointed out the fact that the first congressional district is pretty diverse.
you really do have an interesting collection of individuals. this is previously very blue-collar, heavily unionized. there are low income areas, very affluent areas as well. in terms of the demographic changes in america, i do think paul ryan was thinking about this. this project he was undertaking before donald trump would say how do we modernize the republican party, how do we talk to african-americans and hispanic americans? is part of his legacy that i'm afraid is going to be eclipsed. paul ryan was very close friends with reince priebus. had reincen, you priebus, scott walker, paul ryan. they are all gone from the political scene.
what can the republican party do to appeal to young people and minorities how does it change this perspective that we are the party of old white men and the ?ealthy they came up with this blueprint that was completely upended when donald trump became the nominee. caller: i just wanted to say a couple of things. wasarlier caller said it security, butal we pay 6.2%, and the employer pays the other half. i'm not sure if that is what she included. underon that makes $80,000, i have been doing texas since 1986, and i have two accounting degrees -- taxes since 1986, and i have two accounting degrees, and i'm going to save about $1500 on my
federal. my income went up because of the tax code. they keep saying the upper. it is going to affect everybody differently. i guess that is all i have to say. host: we will go to friday in pennsylvania, independent. caller: how are you doing? good morning. thank you for taking my call. i don't understand how you can call somebody in minority when they are born in america. we have a variety of folks in our country. here thatave people are not americans. there are two kinds of people in america. those that are americans and those that would like to become americans. host: what is your point? caller: we are not going to get anything done in this country until we get our foundation straight. the way to get the foundation straight is to make congress subject to the laws they pass.
warren buffett has a nice thing on facebook. accountability, and where we need variety is in congress. host: what does this have to do with paul ryan? guest: too many lawyers. that is the problem with our government. all they do is figure out loopholes and come up with nonsense to create revenue like legalizing marijuana, a gateway drug. host: ok. let's hear from jack in california, democrat. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just wanted to have mr. sykes clarify a point earlier about paul ryan being an unconventional thinker in his attempts to breach the poverty gap between inner cities and minorities on the lower end of the economic scale. warmedms like that is
over kack kemp, something jack did in the 1980's. this seemed like the romney campaign was not interested in that either. gueststing how the two see paul ryan in relation to his mentor of jack cap and whether paul ryan is that much different from jack kemp in the 1980's and 1990's. host: thank you for bringing that up. guest: it is no question that paul ryan was mentored by jack kemp. i do think there was a tremendous amount of influence and that paul ryan was trying to figure out how do you apply some of those approaches? contributions were
during the 1980's. what ryan was trying to do was to extend this creative approach, this nonideological approach to dealing with aspirational growth to deal with minorities. i'm not sure that makes him congressional because jack kemp was always a little out of step with orthodox conservatives. it was very much a reform aspect of the conservative movement. if you think of conservatism as having two or more broad backgrounds, think of the strain of conservatism represented by versus pat buchanan. school.es from the kemp where did trumpism come from? that is more from the buchanan school. paul ryan was trying to
modernize the conservative movement utilizing some of the and puttingemp had his own stamp on it as well. guest: i think charlie is right. he worked for jack kemp. he has always invoke jack kemp as a model. there is the policy agenda itself. there is the fact that his interest in these issues and the the andspent time on talked about them. that is interesting politically because not every republican is doing that. there is a political dimension to that. there is a policy dimension. thepolicy dimension is problem itself, opportunity and equality. the political dimension is what charlie was saying earlier, which is ryan is somebody who saw the need to broaden the republican coalition.
whether the republicans were ever going to have a lot of success broadening that coalition to latinos and african-americans, maybe, maybe not. other voters who wanted to see what we used to call a kinder, gentler conservativism. host: we will go to alabama, tina, republican. caller: good morning. thank you for this. just deal with the fact that the tax cuts have generated more revenue for the treasury. what are you going to do with less income coming into the treasury? that is not the case. overspent. help us please. host: craig gilbert. guest: i'm not sure that is true. the tax cut, correct me if i'm wrong, but depending on how you look at the tax cut, you have to
disentangle the short-term revenues, trends from the longer-term revenue france. the longer-term revenue projection is for the tax cut to cost revenue in the long run. it is interesting. thent to -- part of political problem for republicans is that even some of the people who were getting savings from the tax-cut either did not see it or did not think it was significant. i went to one part of wisconsin after the tax cuts were passed, juneau county, which is a small, not very prosperous county in wisconsin which at swung for trump more than any other county in 2016. when i talked about the tax cuts, it was basically a shrug.
i think republicans were hoping for a long time that once the supportsunk in, public for it would build. there is not a lot of evidence that happened. there was also a limit to how much republicans themselves ran on the tax cuts. if you look at the advertising and the presidents rhetoric, it was not like the tax-cut was at the epicenter of the republican message or campaign. that is an interesting point. at the end of this campaign, you have paul ryan saying let's run on the tax-cut and the economy. the president was saying, no we are going to run on the caravan. these immigrants that are going to bring leprosy and ebola across the border. you have this dramatic differential in their approach. crank made the point. point, look athe
the suburbs. if the tax-cut was a winner, it would have shown up in these suburbs. it did not. if you look at the deficit, there is no question about it. of real prosperity, when the economy is roaring, we are adding $1 trillion per year to the deficit. it is one thing, and i'm not in favor of deficit spending even when the economy is down, but at least you understand in a time of war why you would add to the deficit or if you are climbing out of a huge recession. we are in this remarkable moment where the economy is chugging along. we are looking at full employment. the stock market is roaring. this country is going deeper into debt and deficit. that is a function of this tax cut. debate ither policy would like to bring up is the approach by republicans and paul
ryan to repeal and replace the affordable care act. here he is touting the republican replacement plan in may of 2017. [video clip] >> today is a big day. it is just one step. an important step. we have a lot to do to get this signed into law. i know our friends in the senate are eager to get to work. [laughter] >> they are. >>we will see that work through. the issues are two important. the stakes are just too high. the problems facing american families are real. the problems facing american families as a result of obamacare are too dire and to urgent. just this week we learned of another state, iowa, where the last remaining health care plan is falling out of 94 of their 99 counties, leaving most of their citizens with no plans on the
.bama market at all what kind of protection is obamacare if there are no plans to choose from? this is a trend we are seeing all across the country. the truth is this law has failed and is collapsing. skyrocketing, and choices are disappearing. it is spiraling out of control. this is why we have to repeal this law and put in place a real vibrant marketplace with competition and lower premiums for families. that is what the american health care act is all about. it makes health care more affordable. he takes care of our most vulnerable. it ships power from washington back to the states and back to you, the patients. we have a lot of work to do. republicans are committed to keeping our promise. to lift the burden of obamacare from the american people and put in place a better, more patient
centered system. guest: the politics of health care have been so volatile and obviously deeply damaging to the democratic party in 2010. but also deeply damaging to the republican party in 2018. their advertising was overwhelmingly about health care. everybody is almost every district ran on health care and this issue of how you are going to cover people with pre-existing conditions. it tied a lot of republican including into knots, races for governor, where scott after went down in defeat three successful campaigns. health care was one of the successful clubs democrats used against him in that race.
they were stuck between getting beat up on the right for not fulfilling the promise, the claim they made about repealing health care. then running into this bus saw replaceng pushed to obamacare because of the shifting politics of health care. host: charlie sykes? guest: that is right. it is extraordinary how big of a role that issue played in wisconsin. this is one of those points wone when the republicans control of the government in 2016, it was like the dog catching the car. they knew what they were against, but they were not prepared to replace. it was striking that after seven years of having one vote after another to repeal obamacare, when it came down to it, do they really have a replacement they could get behind?
they could not. no one in this election could articulate what is the republican placement for obamacare. that is one of the reasons democrats did so well. we are not talking about the way this issue has spun around. the virginia congressional seat, when dave bratt beat eric cantor in a republican primary because he was so adamantly against obamacare. then he is defeated for reelection by a democrat, i think it is abigail spanberger who ran against republican attempts to repeal obamacare. in that one republican district, you saw the cradle swing from 2014 to 2018 where health care was absolutely toxic, not just for democrats, but even conservative republicans have now swinging to being a death spiral for republicans. host: our next caller, welcome to the conversation. caller: hello.
i am glad to be on. people seem to be really concerned about social security and the deficit. there are so make thinks money is being spent on. for example, it takes $77 per day to keep an illegal alien. that amounts to $539 per week. 28,000 dollars per year. is $112,000.our a family of six per year is $168,000. what could that do for americans and the deficit? think of how many children and families and infrastructure and senior citizens that could help instead. host: ok. we heard your point. craig gilbert, let's talk about the politics of immigration over
the years. paul ryan has been here while i have talked about comprehensive immigration form time and time again. guest: he has generally done at the liberal end of the republican spectrum. understanding there is a limit to what you can advocate for within his own party. by the time from camelot, pulled back on that issue. no question there is a spectrum of opinion among republican voters. if you look at the opinion polling, some people are often surprised by how republicans answer these questions about immigration. especially the ones about it cap to citizenship. minoritya significant among republican voters that support a path to citizenship. it is not quite as polarized along party lines. it is a double-edged sword for
both parties. host: in montana, independent. good morning. caller: one of the things about paul ryan and alan greenspan is their true believer status in randian ideology. they built their ideology around this russian novelist. she wrote atlas shrugged. that theeresting heroine in that book was running a railroad. she was a job creator. everyone else was a taker. he true believer status of ayn rand, she believed social security and medicare where this communist plot.
when she got old and sick, she took advantage of those programs. note, i a happier would suggest that everyone that is hyperventilating about the debt and deficit, i would suggest they look up modern monetary theory. look up some lectures by stephanie colton, who advised bernie sanders. i'm sorry. this is my first call. host: you are doing great. caller: look up modern monetary theory, how a sovereign nation creates its own money. the debt and deficit is just money the government has either created and spent or allowed the commercial banks to create and spent, and it is residing in private bank accounts. we do not borrow money from china. we are a sovereign currency creator. china sells us things. they get our money.
they can either spend it on items, or they park it at the federal reserve and treasury bonds. host: i will leave it there and have charlie sykes jump in. guest: i'm not going to wait into that particular theory about printing money. ayn rand, there is no doubt that she influenced paul ryan. i think paul ryan has the ball well beyond. year old 70 conservatives might have read atlas shrugged. the problem with the debt and deficit being legal immigrants, this is just illegal immigrants, this is the fixation of our current politics. , perhaps, how she would feel that the president is
spending $220 million sending 5000 troops to the border, where those troops will not be able to spend thanksgiving with their family to deal with the nonexistent threat of the caravan. it is interesting what people think is wasteful spending and what they do not think his wasteful spending. one thing we have not talked about his paul ryan and free trade. one of the significant nure inishments of his te office was the approval of tpp. paul ryan was a strong believer in the power of trade to raise boats toe to grow -- grow the economy. one of the dramatic shifts in conservative politics is not just on immigration and the debt and deficit, but it is also on free trade. host: that is something
president trump ran against. hillary clinton was called it the gold standard. she had to walk that back. bernie sanders ran against it as well. guest: we have seen this interesting role reversal in regards to free-trade between the parties. the partisanship of our politics, when obama was president, he was a pro-trade democrat. he moved democratic voters in a pro-trade direction. rump, and hist opposition to trade and obama's support for trade has moved conservative voters the opposite way. it is an interesting switch. on that last caller, i was thinking about ayn rand. i think you can overstate it, but he isn't it along with quote
-- is an ideological guy. you can overstate its, but he is into the austrian economist. he has a highly developed conservative framework for viewing these issues. influence onin him. speaker, youhe have to be, you have to run the house. you have to make deals. arguably the most conservative speaker we have had in modern times. host: can you share insights on his work ethic? guest: paul ryan is an extraordinary figure. ,ot only is he a policy wonk who worked on the chart. politiciand-working in the sense that he never lost touch with his district. he was always accessible. he was a prolific campaigner and fundraiser.
paul ryan, when he says he gave everything to his job, whether you agree or disagree, successful or not successful, paul ryan is one of the most energetic, hardest working politicians i have ever met. going back to craig's point about being intellectually serious, and you can certainly disagree, but this is somebody who really did immerse himself in the world of ideas and trying to figure out how do you apply the ideas of the austrian ?conomist to the modern economy who thought very deeply about conservative principles. this is easy to overlook. the contrast with the man in the oval office is pretty significant. host: he talked about when he announced his retirement that he was going to run through the tape.
guest: he did have a happy travel schedule. travel schedule. he raised a lot of money for his party. he did spend a fair amount of time in his own district. maybe less so in the end. retired because he feared losing his own reelection. that is a fairly republican district he had represented a long time. people in his district are more polarized over paul ryan than they have ever been before. he used to get some support from democrats because they saw him as a rhetorically moderate outreach republican. a lot of that has disappeared in the trump era. his problem is not being out of touch with his district. host: over the years you have watched him as a reporter, what
are your thoughts? guest: i agree with charlie, hard worker. always a very affable, even keeled person. i think that is saying something in politics today. someone who always resisted verbal drawn into the conflict and bombast in washington and political media. i think he always tried to resist that, usually pretty successfully. host: what do you think is next for paul ryan? is his political career over? guest: given how fast the new cycles are, it is difficult to make that connection. he is a young man. i don't have any particular insight. i would not be surprised if he ends up at a think tank because this is something that would
appeal to him. i would be surprised if he ends up on wall street, very surprised if he ends up as a lobbyist. i think he will see this project of asking where does the publican party go, i think he is going to see that as an obligation. i would not be surprised if he ends of running one of the major think tanks. guest: i do think he will want to continue to be embraced in public life and politics. the bigger question is what is his audience now? i think everything is so anti-zed along pro-and lines, i think the question is what is his audience and constituency br oadly?
within the republican party, it because ofivided these competing views of where the republican party should head . the question for him is i think he thinks he has something to is who ishe question going to be listening and what affect that will have. this is going to be a different world five, 10, 15 years from now. go?: does he guest: back to wisconsin. host: does he write a book? guest: i think so. host: my thanks to both of you for the conversation. helping us talk about the 20 years
>> "washington journal." live with issues that impact you. johnny us to talk about a wegressional study that could lose a war against china or russia. and on the economic subsidies given to amazon i arlington, virginia, and new york city to convince the retail giant to set up its headquarters in each city. and the reason article the -- suggesting democrats should focus on building a better party rather than working with president trump. he sure to watch "washington live saturday morning at 7 a.m. eastern. join the discussion. >> palm beach county, florida election officials examined ballots as the race continued between bill nelson and rick scott's -- rick scott.