Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at The Associated Press luncheon during the ASNE Convention, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, in Washington.
Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET In what was billed a “big speech” by the White House, President Barack Obama took to the podium at an Associated Press luncheon on Tuesday to hit hard at the budget put forward by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. He called the plan, backed by the Republican-controlled House, a “Trojan horse.”
The president linked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to the plan, offering sharp criticism of both. “He said that he’s very supportive of this new budget. And he even called it ‘marvelous,’ which is a word you don’t often hear when it comes to describing the budget.” He added, to laughter and applause, “It’s a word you don’t often hear generally.”
He also swung at congressional Republicans for their approval of the $3.5 trillion plan, saying, “Instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans ... have doubled down and proposed a new budget so far right it makes the ‘Contract with America’ look like the New Deal.”
President Obama says that the House Republicans' recently-revealed budget plan would hurt America's working families and seniors. Watch his entire speech.
Obama said the proposal “breaks our bipartisan agreement and proposes massive new cuts in annual domestic spending.” He insists that it’s “exactly the area where we’ve already cut the most.”
He called the Ryan plan a “prescription for decline” that harms future generations. "It's antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who's willing to work for it, a place where prosperity doesn't trickle down from the top but grows outward from the heart of the middle class," he said.
Before the Washington luncheon even ended, Ryan responded to the president's attacks. In a statement, he said, "Like his reckless budgets, today's speech by President Obama is as revealing as it is disappointing: While others lead by offering real solutions, he has chosen to distort the truth and divide Americans in order to distract from his failed record."
He countered that "history will not be kind" to Obama for his "duck and run tactics."
President Obama says the proposed budget by the Republicans so far to the right it makes the Contract to America look like The New Deal.
Outside of Ryan and Romney, Obama contended that the entirety of the Republican Party was attempting to enforce a "radical vision" for America, an environment so extreme that Ronald Reagan wouldn't have succeeded in it.
Obama said, "Ronald Reagan, who as I recall was not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control that for him to make a deal he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases ... He did it multiple times. He could not get through a Republican primary today."
Separately, the president commented on the recent oral arguments over his health care overhaul. He believes the Supreme Court justices will uphold the law and isn't planning on contingencies.