House Budget Committee Chairman Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI 1st) was one of the initial speakers at CPAC 2014. Ryan's restrained rhetorical style along with his general remarks did not fire up the crowd as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) or Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) with their early morning speeches. However, Rep. Ryan did have one well wrought out zinger which illustrated his overall point
The House Budget Chairman quipped that: "Right now, the U.S. tax code is ten times longer than the Bible with none of the Good News." It was a great line to try to soft pitch House Ways and Means Chairman Representative Dave Camp's (R-MI 10th) controversial tax reform over-hall plan. Regardless of how one feels about the particulars on the policies, it is aimed at cutting away bureaucratic red tape and allowing taxpayers to keep more of their own money.
But instead of debating how a Big Brother bureaucracy is burdening Americans and forcing a Statist will upon individuals, much of the media nit-picked as the chain of knowledge for the source on his "brown bag lunch story." The Left's tizzy tactics illustrates Ryan's point that the left is out of ideas and would rather demonize their opponents instead of engaging in debate.
By virtue of his position as House Chairman, Representative Ryan is part of GOP House Leadership. But his bold budget plans do not show a Cocktail Party complacency which plagues many GOP elites. Based on the tepid applause at CPAC 2014 as well as his eighth place finish (with 3%) in the CPAC Straw Poll, Ryan can not count on the conservative base for support in a prospective Presidential run this cycle.
That being said, Rep. Ryan is a respected representative who can bolster the notion that Conservatives are the ones with ideas, and perhaps actuate that with Republican majorities in Congress.