Paul Ryan told CNBC's Larry Kudlow on Thursday that the first act of a Romney-Ryan administration would be to handle the “fiscal cliff" and the threat of recession.
“I'm the guy who offered the legislation and passed it through the House already that prevents these devastating defense cuts, that cuts spending in other areas of government ... that the CBO says could be part of triggering of a recession,” Ryan said in the interview scheduled to air Thursday night on “The Kudlow Report.”
“We'll telegraph that so the markets know that,” the Republican vice presidential hopeful added.
In the interview, Ryan also responded to an opinion piece by Austan Goolsbee, President Barack Obama’s former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, that Republican tax cuts of 20 percent and the extension of Bush-era tax cuts would add trillions to the deficit. (Read More: Stark Differences in Ryan, Romney, Obama Tax Plans.)
“If President Obama gets his wish, we'll go back into a recession," said Ryan, who is chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Referring to Obama's plan to cut taxes only for families making less than $250,000 a year, Ryan added: "And so they try to measure the world against this massive tax increase that they want to occur, which we think will trigger a recession, which hurts revenues. We're saying plug loopholes, lower tax rates.”
Ryan was interviewed on the road in North Carolina, one of the swing states that Republicans hope will turn to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in November’s election. In a New York Times/CBS News poll out Tuesday, likely voters in three other swing states — Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin — were more favorable to Obama than to Romney/Ryan on Medicare reform. (Read More: Obama Trusted More on Medicare: Swing State Poll.)
“I'm in the under 55 generation, from the X-generation. And the proposals we're advancing are bipartisan proposals,” the 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman said. “It's an idea that came from Bill Clinton's 1999 commission to save Medicare. It's not government rationing or [a bureaucrat] telling you what to do. You get to decide. That is the best way to save Medicare for my generation, the next generation, and it allows us to keep the Medicare benefit intact just as it's designed today for people in or near retirement today.” (Read More: Ryan's Way: How He Would Change Medicare.)
Ryan will be in Florida at the GOP National Convention next week to accept the nomination for vice president. More than 40 million viewers are expected to see Ryan speak on his largest national stage yet.
Asked by Kudlow about his vision for his speech, Ryan responded: “If we stick with the president's plan, we'll end up with a debt crisis, a welfare state. And all those promises that government made to people that they've retired and organized their lives around will become broken promises. We don't want to see that happen.”
—By CNBC's Albert Lewitinn
To see Paul Ryan’s full interview, watch “The Kudlow Report” Thursday, August 23 at 7 p.m. ET.
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