Ryan Budget a 'Time Bomb,' GOP Pollsters Warned GOP

Public has never been fond of plan

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 23, 2011 11:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – GOP pollsters warned House leaders not to call a vote on Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, saying its Medicare provision was positively toxic. No matter how positively they framed the bill, the plan’s approval rating never climbed above the upper end of the 30s, and its disapproval numbers were always well above 50%, a GOP operative tells Politico. “You might not want to go there,” NRCC staffers warned in a pre-vote meeting.

Republicans presented a united front in voting for the Ryan budget, but internally there was vigorous dissension. “People in my district like Medicare,” Dave Camp, a major Ryan rival, declared at one meeting. “The Tea Party itch has definitely not been scratched,” one top GOP consultant says. “The feeling among leadership was … we don’t know what to do, but it has to be bold.” But another GOP insider offered this morose assessment: “Jumping off a bridge is bold, too.”

In a file photo from Feb. 15, 2011, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., attends a committee meeting a the Capitol.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite/file)
Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) reads a document with an aide during a markup hearing before the House Budget Committee April 6, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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I couldn’t believe these idiots — I don’t know what else to call them, they’re idiots. They actually made their members vote on it. It was completely stunning to me. - Ed Rendell, former Democratic
governor of Pennsylvania

We have a message challenge, a big one, and that’s what the polling is showing. ... Do we get a political benefit from proposing a legitimate solution to a major policy problem? - Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-NC

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