It wasn’t long ago that L. Brent Bozell III was fawning over House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and defending the Wisconsin Republican against attacks from “liberal politicians and journalists.” Now, in the wake of a bipartisan budget deal that would set spending levels for the next two years, the right-wing firebrand has turned on Ryan.
Bozell blasted the budget hammered out earlier this week by Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), predicting that the deal will lead to a conservative revolt in the GOP.
“The conservative base of the Republican Party was already walking away from the establishment G.O.P.,” Bozell, chairman of the conservative group ForAmerica, told the New York Times. “That will now turn into a stampede away from a party that has lost its principles and bearings.”
Once a cult hero among tea partiers obsessed with slashing government spending, Ryan now finds himself staring down something of a conservative rebellion. Heritage Action, the infulential political arm of the Heritage Foundation, announced its opposition to the Ryan-Murray budget, while a slew of tea party candidates have also come out against the deal.
After Ryan was tapped to serve as Mitt Romney’s running mate in last year’s presidential election, Bozell applauded the move as a “smart executive decision” and blasted the liberal critics who used “punishing terms about Ryan’s budget ideas.”
“Ryan’s genial personality, serious policy wonkery, and political courage have dazzled conservatives and won respect even in a few liberal circles,” Bozell wrote on his blog. “Romney scores points for political courage as well. He knew liberal politicians and journalists would talk in punishing terms about Ryan’s budget ideas.”