Republican “Young Guns” take aim at Democratic-led Washington

September 1, 2010

Republican U.S. Representatives Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy are all in their 40’s.

Yet with many of their colleagues far older — in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s — see themselves as “Young Guns,” part of a new breed of Republicans ready to challenge their Grand Old Party and take on Democratic-led Washington.

“Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,” is the title of their book.

Published by Simon & Schuster, it’s to be on book shelves on September 14 in advance in advance of the Nov. 2 election that may see Republicans win control of the House from President Barack Obama’s Democrats.

“We’ve seen both parties ignore the needs of Americans while they concentrate on doing favors for the special interests that get them elected,” Cantor writes in his section of the book.

“Don’t get me wrong. We’re proud Republicans,” Cantor adds. “We just believe that our party has at times lost sight of the things we believe in, ideas like economic freedom, limited government, the sanctity of life, and putting families first.”

Ryan makes a plug for his “Roadmap for America’s Future.” Embraced so far by relatively few House Republicans, it includes gradually raising the retirement age to 70, reducing future Social Security benefits for the rich and putting Medicare and Medicaid recipients in private insurance plans.

With the U.S. facing record deficits, Ryan writes, “The problem, in a nutshell is this. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — three giant entitlements — are out of control.”

McCarthy introduces readers to a number of  “Young Gun” House Republican candidates who he says are ready to “stand for solutions based on American principles.”

Cantor, Ryan and McCarthy are members House Republican leadership. Ryan is the top Republican on the House Budget Committee while McCarthy is House minority chief deputy whip.

As House minority whip, Cantor is the chamber’s number two Republican, behind House Minority Leader John Boehner.

There are few mentions of Boehner in the nearly 200-page book, which is certain to stir discussion among House Republicans.

Boehner is line to be elected House speaker if Republicans take the chamber. But in the book’s foreword, Fred Barnes, editor of The Weekly Standard, writes Cantor may get the job.

“I’m convinced Eric Cantor will be speaker or majority leader the next time Republicans control the House,” writes Barnes, who first dubbed Cantor, Ryan and McCarthy as the “Young Guns” in a 2007 profile of them.

Joe Scarborough, a former House Republican turned MSNBC talk show host, ripped into the three on air on Wednesday for embracing the “Young Guns” moniker.  Laughing, he noted they are all middle aged.

A spokesman for the three brushed off such criticism, saying, “Young Guns is not about age, it’s about a concept and a long-term vision for a new generation of conservatives.”

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing (U.S. House Republican Leader John Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor walk through the Capitol)


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If the Republican Party doesn’t get some new vision and ethics, they will continue to fade out. I’m skeptical about these “young guns” but time will tell. Right now, the Republican Party is a self-serving parasite, just like the Democratic Party. Their only use (both parties) is to serve as a counterbalance the other party. But if either side takes complete control, we get what we got under Bush and Obama….a complete mess.

Posted by actnow | Report as abusive

Paul Ryan’s “roadmap” is a right-wing fantasy, slashing taxes on the rich while raising taxes for everyone else. The plan calls for privatizing Social Security and gutting Medicare, and fails miserably in its intended goal — cutting the deficit.
When Republican candidates embrace this plan to radically transform governmental institutions and Americans’ way of life, they’re endorsing a Republican vision of governing more extreme than anything we’ve seen in the modern political era.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive

Young guns, old ammo.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

Young Guns? Brown Shirts, perhaps.

Posted by Eideard | Report as abusive

It’s hard to take the GOP seriously. The party that’s running on a platform of fiscal responsibility was fiscally irresponsible. The party that’s running on a platform of shrinking the size and scope of government grew the size and scope of government. The party that’s running on a platform of competence, maturity, and integrity was, and still is, incompetent, immature, and corrupt.

Eric Cantor joined the House Republican leadership in 2002, and proceeded to vote for bigger deficits, more debt, and government expansion without paying for it. He’ll be the Majority Leader if the GOP takes the House.

John Boehner joined the House Republican leadership in 1994, and was at the heart of his party’s spectacular failures in the ensuing years. Boehner was even the Majority Leader when his party lost 21 seats in the 2008 elections. He’ll be Speaker if the GOP takes the House.

The party won’t be “led by a new generation of young and energetic leaders”; it’ll be led by the same guys who drove their party and our country into a ditch.
How do Republicans propose “restoring the public’s trust”? By embracing the exact same ideas and policy agenda Republicans have run on for years.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

As a member of the ’94 revolution, I personally saw the error of electing leaders who had been in the minority. I often say I only made one bad vote, but unfortunately, it was the first vote, and that was the only one that counted. I pray that all the new freshman will not make the same mistake we made in ’94 and elect leaders from the freshman class. That is the only way that we can possibly reverse the downward economic spiral we find in our nation.
In my legislative district, the young gun running was also a freshman in our State house in ’94, and will fight for new leadership. Boehner was Gingrich’s protege, and even though Newt may be the man with the best ideas,he proved himself to be a progressive.
As Steve Largent said to Speaker Gingrich in ’96 when Newt tried to reverse the gains we made in ’95, “Mr. Speaker, I have been in smaller rooms with bigger people, we will not be intimidated”. Hang tough, freshman, don’t buy into the system, our nation can not continue the direction we are going. It must be reversed, not slowed down.

Posted by bombadier | Report as abusive

[…] Schweikert, in Congressional District 5 who if elected should certainly join the ranks of other “young guns” in the Republican Party, is running against the Pelosi “lap dog” Harry Mitchell. Schweikert […]

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