Mitchell Reports | August 15, 2012
>>> utah congressman jason chaffetz is a member of the house budget committee chaired by paul ryan and joins me now. good friend of paul ryan 's. thanks for being with me, congressman. let's talk about your friend. have you talked to him, how is he reacting to this rollout and the excitement of first of all, the weekend bus tour and now being solo on the campaign?
>> well, i traded some text messages the day it was announced and just so thrilled for him. he's the real guy, he's the real deal . i just couldn't be happier for him. he's the kind of person that i hope some day will first be vice president but then will also be the president of the united states . he's just that man of principle and quality and integrity and smarts that we need in the white house .
>> i want to show you a little bit of paul ryan 's interview with brit hume because some people are suggesting the paul ryan we all know who was mr. budget and had all the numbers at the top of his head is now in a different role and he sounds different. let's watch.
>> i am on the romney ticket and what mitt romney is proposing is repeal all of obama care. in the house repeatedly i have voted with that position. i support that position. i'm pleased to support the position of getting rid of every piece of obama care, including the cuts to medicare which are used to pay for obama care.
>> the budget plan that you are now supporting would get to balance when?
>> well, there are different -- the budget plan that mitt romney 's supporting gets us down to 20% of gdp government spending by 2016 . that means get the size of government back to where it historically has been, where president obama has brought the size of government to as high as it hasn't been since world war ii . we want to reduce the size of government so we can have more economic freedom .
>> i get that but what about balance?
>> i don't know exactly when it balances because we haven't -- i don't want to get wonky on you but we haven't run the numbers on that specific plan.
>> what we love about paul ryan is that he's wonky. but it's a different paul ryan . i understand he's the number two, but the fact is that the ryan budget , the house budget , cut the same amount from medicare that the president cut.
>> i think the numbers, there are differences. what you also have to understand is the iteration that paul ryan did was done in a bipartisan way with senator wyden, a well-established democrat and to truly get this done and over the finish line, we're going to have to do this in a bipartisan way. paul ryan understands that. mitt romney understands that.
>> but congressman, isn't it hypocritical to attack the obama medicare cuts which are slowing the rate of increase in medicare , which are exactly the same amount that the ryan budget proposed and was passed through the house ?
>> the first thing i would say is it's not exactly the same amount and it's done in a totally different way. the president has suggested democrats and those supportive of the president's re-election have routinely said that paul ryan was going to end medicare , that he was going to push grandma over the cliff. what we have said in response is president obama is the one that has taken $700 billion plus out of medicare and then suggested that they're not going to do any sort of changes. what is crystal clear in paul ryan 's position in the house , what mitt romney 's position has been, what he's done with paul ryan is doing with senator wyden is that we're going to do this in such a way that if you're 55 years old and older, you're not going to have an effect but for the younger generations, we need some reform. we need to revitalize this and save medicare .
>> congressman --
>> it goes both ways but yes --
>> we're both talking about $700 billion. the difference is whose oxe gets gored. the president's approach would take it out of providers. the ryan approach, your approach, would take it out of beneficiaries. that's the difference. and they both take the same amount out of medicare in terms of the proportion of the rate of growth.
>> i would disagree with that. but what this country should be doing is having these types of in-depth discussions. i would also suggest to you the president doesn't have a plan. four years in a row now, the president has presented a budget and if you look at every member of the house , the senate, republican or democrat, for four years, not a single member has ever voted in favor of president obama 's budget . that's pretty stunning. so paul ryan comes with having a proposal, mitt romney has aggressive ideas on what he wants to do. the president has no plan. when he presented his budget in the united states senate in the house of representatives , it was defeated with not a single person voting for it. so you're four years as president, you don't have a single vote for your budget , that's pretty stunning.
>> let me ask you a question about the drought. all of our programs on msnbc and on the networks of nbc and msnbc are focusing on the drought today, intensive coverage, and the house left without passing the farm bill . the senate at least passed something. the house was unable to pass anything and we understand from the speaker's office that it's unlikely anything will be passed. how can the farm bill not be passed by the house of representatives ?
>> well, there was a bigger broader farm bill but there was a drought related bill that i voted in favor of and you have to look at other members and what they voted for. but look, the drought is very serious. you got a lot of people hurting. and we voted to pull hundreds of millions of dollars out of existing programs and putting them over into some of the drought relief. i thought that was a reasonable thing to do and that's why i voted for it.
>> thank you very much. thanks a lot, congressman. should be an exciting campaign with your friend and fellow house member on the ticket.