GOP majority leader says Paul Ryan should run for president

By Sahil Kapur
Monday, May 23, 2011 13:38 EDT
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WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said Monday that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the author of the Republican budget plan to replace Medicare with a subsidies system, should run for president.

“Paul is about real leadership,” Cantor told reporters, adding that he’d like to see all 2012 Republican hopefuls support the budget chairman’s blueprint, which also cuts taxes on high income earners and transforms Medicaid into block grants for states.

The House-passed plan, which all but four Republicans voted for last month, has become a political headache for the GOP, as polls show that the public strongly opposes Medicare cuts. But despite some skepticism from within the party, Republicans have overwhelmingly united behind the plan, portraying it as necessary to cut the $14 trillion national debt.

Cantor’s strong support of Ryan is another sign that Republicans intend to weather the political storm and stand behind the proposal rather than back down.

The majority leader’s remarks came one day after Ryan affirmed that he will not run in 2012.

“I’m not running for president,” the Wisconsin congressman told David Gregory on NBC’s David Gregory Sunday on Meet The Press. “It’s not my plan.”

[h/t Chris Moody]

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