Fresh off a rough week, Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter stumbled out of the blocks yesterday on The Today Show when she tried to explain away President Obama’s previous praise of GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan to Matt Lauer.
LAUER: A couple of years ago, President Obama said this to Paul Ryan, that he was “absolutely sincere about wanting to reduce the deficit.” He called Ryan’s plan a “legitimate proposal” and added that he gave him credit for at least being willing to put out there some very tough choices.” Does he still feel that way?
CUTTER: Well, you know, the President said it last night, that he knows Paul Ryan, that he thinks Paul Ryan is a good and decent man, he definitely has some very serious ideas, it’s just that the President fundamentally disagrees with him. And, you know, this pick, I heard the opening talking about how this 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. It does not ask anything from the very wealthy. You know, being courageous means you have to buck your own party, and Mr. Ryan has never done that.
Lauer then asked Cutter about a statement Obama made in 2010 in which he said, “We’re not going to be able to do anything about these entitlements if what we do is characterize whatever proposals are put out there as, ‘Well, that’s the other party being irresponsible, the other party trying to hurt our senior citizens,” adding that it sounded exactly like what she had just said.
Cutter disagreed with Lauer and reiterated her talking points that the Ryan budget balances the budget on the backs of the middle class and the needy and wasn’t a pro-growth policy, without specifically answering Lauer’s question.
This isn’t the first time Lauer has pressed Cutter to explain inconsistencies in previous Obama remarks. Last month Cutter also struggled to defend the President on his previous remarks on negative campaigning, in another less than sterling performance.