The Hill reports on a visit to the White House yesterday by members of the House Republican caucus:
“Republicans confronted President Obama at the White House on Wednesday, accusing him of a lack of leadership during the nation’s fiscal crisis.
“Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he wanted to ‘clear the air’ over the president’s attack on his budget plan.
“The most dramatic moment of the meeting came when Ryan told Obama he was wrong to characterize Republicans as turning their backs on children and senior citizens, lawmakers said.
“Ryan told the president, ‘Leadership should come from the top,’ according to Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who was there. Ryan also called out the president for his speech at George Washington University in April, during which he castigated the Republican budget in harsh terms while Ryan sat just a few feet away….
“King said Ryan stopped short of directly accusing Obama of demagoguing the issue but that he was ‘politely critical’ of the president. ‘Obviously we disagree. Ours was a good proposal,’ King paraphrased the House Budget Committee chairman as saying. ‘It was wrong to accuse us of turning our backs on autistic children or putting senior citizens out on the street.’…
‘“I could tell the president was nervous, because when he’s nervous, he talks on and on. Everybody else he gave about a three- or four-minute answer to. To Paul Ryan it was about 20 minutes,’ freshman Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said.”
ABC News reports,
“Ryan told the president that he is making a sincere attempt to address a problem, and he challenged the president: ‘Mr. President, the demagoguery only stops if the Leaders stop it.’
“His fellow House Republicans gave him a standing ovation.”
Here’s Ryan, afterward, speaking to reporters outside the White House.