Reaching into President Obama’s 14-page, 7,200 word luncheon speech to the Associated Press on Tuesday, some conservative observers took umbrage at a few of his choicest and more outrageous characterizations of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget bill, while leaving much behind.
Patrick Knudsen, writing on the Heritage Foundation’s blog, said the President used “shrill hyperbole” when he called Ryan’s plan “thinly veiled social Darwinism” which would, if enacted, be “antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity.” It would “impose a radical vision on our country” and would be a “prescription for decline.” Taking another approach, Alison Fraser also wrote on Heritage’s blog that the reason the President directed so much attention to Ryan’s plan was because he wanted to direct people’s attention away from his own failures as President over the past three years: “As a counter to his failure to lead us away from the fiscal abyss, Obama has chosen to attack Ryan and the House budget with scary rhetoric about Trojan horses, social Darwinism, and [its] radical vision for the country.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) responded to Obama’s comments by doubting his sincerity and chastising him for not presenting a reasonable budget alternative:
If the president were serious, he would put forward a plan to deal with our debt crisis and save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for future generations of seniors without raising taxes on small businesses that are struggling in this economy. Instead, he has chosen to campaign rather than govern, and the debt crisis he is presiding over is only getting worse.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling was even stronger, calling Obama’s speech an “unhinged attack” and an “act of desperation” to direct attention away from his failed policies. Even Darrell West of the Brookings Institution, a left-of-center think tank, agreed: Obama needs to