CNN Re-Airs Paul Krugman Saying Ryan's Budget Will 'Kill People,' Shows No Outrage

CNN's Gloria Borger dug deep for disgusting liberal smears of Paul Ryan's budget proposals and aired them without any criticism or outrage on Monday. In her report on the new Vice Presidential nominee, she unearthed past footage of liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman saying the Ryan budget would "kill people."

That smear was so egregious that it won the Media Research Center's "Grim Reaper Award" for 2011. Yet Borger featured it as valid liberal criticism of Ryan. And she kicked off her report by quoting other liberals saying his budget would drive America "over the cliff" and "destroy our government," before Ryan even introduced himself.

Below is part of Borger's September 25, 2011 profile of Paul Ryan that included Krugman's smear.

"To be a little melodramatic, the budget would kill people, no question," Krugman told CNN. "So that counts as cruelty to me."

Borger simply explained that "His [Ryan's] ideas infuriate liberals like Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman," and said nothing critical of Krugman's outrageous remark.

And at the beginning of her report, she also included Democrat Congressman John Yarmuth (Kent.) ranting that the Ryan budget would take America "over the cliff," as well as liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs saying it would "destroy our government."

This isn't the first time CNN has invited liberals to open fire on the Ryan budget with little response from Ryan's side. When the congressman defended his budget at Georgetown University, CNN hosted liberal Fr. Thomas Reese four times throughout the day to explain how Ryan's budget hurt the poor and didn't meet the standards of Catholic social teaching.

When Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) wanted an investigation into government officials having alleged ties to Muslim extremists, CNN cried foul and Anderson Cooper ran critical "Keeping Them Honest" reports on four consecutive nights. And yet when liberals claim that the Ryan budget would kill people, it not only escapes CNN's critical eye but makes it into their own reports.

A transcript of the report, which aired on CNN Newsroom on August 13 at 1:16 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

[1:16]

(Video Clip)

Rep. JOHN YARMUTH (D-Kent.): The Ryan Road Map is the way to the cliff and then over the cliff.

JEFFREY SACHS, economist: The Ryan proposal obviously would destroy our government –
 
Rep. PAUL RYAN (R-Wisc.): I gave up fear for Lent this year.

GLORIA BORGER: (on camera) (Laughs) You're not joking?

RYAN: No, I gave up fear for Lent this year.

BORGER: You are not kidding me, right?

RYAN: No.

BORGER: How do you do that?

RYAN: Well, I'm working on it. (Laughs)

BORGER: (voice over) Until recently, Paul Ryan was a relatively unknown budget wonk. Now he's famous. As the face of a new brand of Republican economics that includes the most sweeping plan to cut government spending in decades.

RYAN: There's a big test for this country. And whether we apply our country's principles, you know, liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, government by the consent of the governed. All of the core principles are being tested right now, and you can't have fear if you try to fix these problems. You know, there is a shoot the messenger strategy these days. And you can't –

BORGER: (on camera) You are the messenger.
 
RYAN:  I'm the messenger, and you can't fear that.

BORGER: (voice over) So who is Paul Ryan?

RYAN: I'm fifth generation from Janesville –

BORGER: The path from the union-heavy small town in Wisconsin led to a conservative pedigree, first as a Republican congressional staffer –

RYAN: I'm Paul Ryan, candidate for Congress.

BORGER: Then, with a long shot bid for a House seat 13 years ago.

WILLIAM BENNETT: Well, Paul Ryan is maybe a rare thing in Washington. He is what he seems.

BORGER: Bill Bennett is a conservative talk radio host and CNN contributor. He was one of Ryan's mentors, along with supply-side guru Jack Kemp, in the early 1990s.

BENNETT: He is a guy without guile, without pretense. He likes to hang out with actuaries for relaxation, which is good.

BORGER (on camera): Who doesn't?

BENNETT: Yes, which is kind of a funny thing. He also hunts elk with a bow and arrow. So he's an interesting character.

RYAN: And it literally gets our economy on a –

BORGER (voice over): He's had the deficit in his sights for years. But even Republicans steered clear of some of his more controversial budget ideas. That is until the Tea Party became the rage.

RYAN: I think it is because of the circumstances of what happened, that the recession, the resulting binge in spending that occurred after it and then, you know, passing entitlements like ObamaCare and then the electoral reaction to that brought these ideas into the mainstream.

BORGER (on camera): Because it's not like you had an extreme makeover?

RYAN: No, no, I've been doing – I've been doing the same thing for a long time.

Do we want to do a photo? Is that it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

BORGER (voice-over): Ryan became popular by pushing the unpopular. Things like killing his colleague's pork projects or trying to revamp Social Security and eventually change Medicare into a program of vouchers for private insurers.

BORGER (on camera): So that's not only touching the third rail of politics, as it's called, it's like grabbing --

RYAN: Yes. I used to say I'm a koala bear on the third rail. That's what I used to say.

BORGER: Right.

RYAN: So, here's the problem. If you don't address these issues now, they're going to steamroll us as a country. And the issue is, the more you delay fixing these problems, the much uglier the solutions are going to have to be. Fifty-one percent of Medicare right now is funded with borrowed money.

BORGER: Right.

RYAN: And so if we're going to keep that promise, you have to change it for our generation. You have to change it for those of us in the x-generation.

PAUL KRUGMAN, Princeton University economist: To be a little melodramatic, the budget would kill people, no question.

BORGER (voice-over): His ideas infuriate liberals like Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

KRUGMAN: The cuts in Medicare that he's proposing, the replacement of Medicare by a voucher system, would, in the end, mean that tens of millions of older Americans would not be able to afford essential health care. So that counts as cruelty to me.

BORGER: Ryan scoffs at the idea and his fellow Republicans have joined in, making the Ryan budget the coin of the realm. Just ask Newt Gingrich, who once dared take it on.

NEWT GINGRICH, former Speaker of the House: I don't think right wing social engineering is any more desirable than left wing social engineering.

BORGER: Gingrich called Ryan to take it back.

RYAN: And basically said he just -- he was wrong.

BORGER: And there are other ideas. Ryan wants to reform the tax code. As for new taxes, no way. Not even if a deal included $10 of spending cuts for every $1 of new taxes.

BORGER (on camera): The public wants compromise and wants a solution where Democrats and Republicans work together and they see, okay, Republicans won't accept –

RYAN: Yeah. See, the kind of compromise all I hear about these days is we take the tax increases and they do a little less spending. What is the policy? See, this is ridiculous to talk about ratios. Where is ObamaCare? Where is Medicare reform, Medicaid reform?

BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States: This is not class warfare.

BORGER (voice-over): And when the President proposed a plan to cut the deficit by taxing the wealthy, Ryan was the first to call it class welfare. And he's convinced the President is just wasting valuable time.

RYAN: We're in the middle of a lost decade.

(End Video Clip)

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014