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Paul Ryan for president? Eric Cantor would welcome bid

May 23, 2011|By Lisa Mascaro | Washington Bureau
(Mira Oberman / AFP/Getty…)

The House majority leader said Monday he would welcome a presidential run from Rep. Paul Ryan, the architect of the Republican plan to privatize Medicare, adding that he expects to see the GOP’s presidential contenders embrace the Ryan budget proposal as they seek the White House.

“What Paul Ryan is about is real leadership,” said Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the majority leader.

The Medicare privatization plan has become a political lightning rod for Republicans as polls have shown Americans are reluctant to make dramatic changes to the popular healthcare program for seniors.

GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich became tangled in the debate as he initially called the proposal “right-wing social engineering” then later said he would have voted for it, as House Republicans did last month in approving their 2012 budget.

“The presidential candidates -- I’m looking for them to embrace our formula in the Ryan budget,” Cantor said. “I’m looking for them to embrace a leadership role that takes the tough positions.”

On Monday, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) said he would not support the plan in the Senate.

lmascaro@tribune.com

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