During Monday morning’s edition of The Today Show, Matt Lauer grilled President Barack Obama‘s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter over the Republican choice of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for Vice President and what it means for past instances in which President Obama praised the congressman and/or said things possibly in direct contradiction to how the campaign is now trying to paint the candidate.
Lauer started by asking Cutter about a specific time when President Obama praised Rep. Ryan for being “absolutely sincere about wanting to reduce the budget,” calling the Ryan budget plan “a legitimate proposal” and giving him credit “for at least being willing to put out there some very tough choices.” Lauer wanted to know whether the president now believes the opposite of the congressman’s plans.
Cutter replied: “The president said it last night: he knows Paul Ryan, he thinks Paul Ryan is a good and decent man. He definitely has serious ideas, the president just fundamentally disagrees with him.”
She then went proceeded to go off on the Ryan plan: “I heard the opening talking about how this pick was a ‘courageous’ and ‘bold’ pick. It’s not courageous to put a Republican budget on the table that doesn’t ask for shared sacrifice. It’s not courageous to put a Republican budget on the table that balances the budget on the backs of the middle class and doesn’t ask anything from the very wealthy. Being courageous means you have to buck your own party and Paul Ryan hasn’t done that.”
Lauer then brought up another past Obama quote, in which the president said that “We’re not going to be able to do anything about these entitlements if what we do is characterize whatever proposals are out there as, ‘Well, that’s the other party being irresponsible, the other party trying to hurt our senior citizens.'”
“…Which sounds exactly like what you just said,” Lauer challenged Cutter.
“No, Matt, I disagree,” she responded. “It doesn’t sound like what I just said. The facts are about Mr. Ryan’s budget is that it really does balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and the needy. That’s not a pro-growth policy.”
“Don’t take it from me, take it from independent economists,” she continued, “this is not a pro-growth document — this is an ideological document.”
Watch below, via NBC:
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