A previous plan by Ryan to privatize Medicare and drastically cut spending, the "Road Map For America," drew few supporters among House Republicans wary of attaching their names to specific cuts going into the 2010 election, much to Ryan's chagrin. Reporters pressed Ryan on what he would say to Republicans afraid to sign onto his proposal's far-reaching changes to popular entitlements.
"Well none of them say that," he deadpanned. "Just kidding."
While conceding that the path forward would be politically treacherous, Ryan warned that "we cannot keep going down the path of fearing what the other political party would do to us if we tried to solve the problem."
He said that he hoped the Obama administration would at least consider individual parts of his proposal as part of an "adult conversation," perhaps incorporating some aspect of it into a compromise over raising the debt ceiling later this year.
"We think this gives you a great menu of options and policies to pick through as a package with the debt limit," he said.