Ryan says GOP needs to pick its fights with Obama
"We're on the verge of a rebirth of conservativism," Cruz said.
Looking ahead, Ryan rejected the notion that Republicans were "in the wilderness," noting that the party controls the House and most statehouses. But he said Obama's victory over Romney meant that Republicans would need to recalibrate their approach to deal with the new political realities.
"If we want to promote conservatism, we'll need to use every tool at our disposal," Ryan said. "Sometimes, we will have to reject the president's proposals — that time may come more than once. And sometimes we'll have to make them better." He said Republicans should have two main goals for the next four years, namely "to mitigate bad policies" and "to advance good policy wherever we can."
Ryan acknowledged that "we all didn't see eye to eye" on the recent "fiscal cliff" vote to deal with a combination of spending cuts and higher taxes that were set to take effect at the start of the year. He defended his support for the bill, saying it was the only way to avoid sweeping tax increases and prevent the economy from going into a free-fall.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan said Republicans needed to guard against a debt crisis for the country that would undermine the economy. He said he would promote changes to Medicare and Medicaid and would propose a budget "that will balance and pay down the debt."
But November's election results still linger. Ryan said he was "disappointed" by the outcome, saying he was "looking forward to taking on the big challenges" while living at the vice president's residence. "My kids were looking forward to having a pool," he joked.
Follow Ken Thomas at http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 77840Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 16227OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant tours Moore, meets with residents
- 13741Oklahoma tornado: Names of dead released; missing individuals located
- 12057Clippers' Donald Sterling hints coach let go to keep Chris Paul
- 11953Oklahoma tornadoes: ‘All I could do was sit there and hold her'
- 11115Oklahoma tornadoes: Red Cross text donations not designated for Oklahoma
- 11023Oklahoma tornadoes: Oklahoma tornado victims identified