Young Guns, by Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Eric Cantor & Rep. Kevin McCarthy: on Principles & Values


Paul Ryan: FactCheck: "Progressivists" is intentionally insulting term

Ryan uses the term "Progressivist vision" on p. 131; the same term is used on p. 98, p. 112, & pp. 129-132. The term has no political meaning except to insult Ryan's opponents. There are no political groups in America who call themselves "progressivists. The term is akin to using "Democrat Party" as an insulting term for "the Democratic Party" (there is no "Democrat Party," and no one uses that term except in a derogatory manner). The authors, evidently, attempt here to invent a new derogatory term.

Ryan further misleads readers by asserting, "Left-of-center politicians stopped calling themselves 'liberals' and started calling themselves 'Progressives.' I can't say precisely why they made this switch." That is factually incorrect. Liberals and progressives are distinct factions in the Democratic Party, akin to libertarians vs. Christian conservatives in the Republican Party. Hillary Clinton represented the liberal faction in 2008; Barack Obama represented the progressive faction.

Source: OnTheIssues.org FactCheck on "Young Guns" May 2, 2011

Aaron Schock: 2008: Youngest member of US House of Representatives

Aaron began his political career when he was nineteen by running for the local school board in Peoria, incredibly defeating the incumbent board president as a write-in candidate. Two years later he had risen to board president himself--the youngest in its history. This would begin a pattern.

Aaron went on to become state representative at age 23--again making him the youngest member of that body. After two very effective terms as a state representative he decided to run for Congress in 2008 after moderate Republican Ray LaHood announced his retirement.

Schock went on to win nearly 60% of the vote in a 3-way race. And once again he was the youngest member--this time of the United States House of Representatives.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.161-162 Sep 14, 2010

Adam Kinzinger: 2003: Hero of the Year Award from local Red Cross

After 9/11, Adam heard the call to defend our country and joined the United States Air Force in 2003. Captain Kinzinger served in the Air Force Special Ops, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air National Guard during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

But the call he heard on a Milwaukee street while still serving in the Air National Guard was perhaps the most unexpected. It was the scream of a woman who was bleeding from her throat, being chased by a man with a knife. Unarmed, Kinzinger sprang into action, fought the knife away from the man, and pinned him to the ground along with another person until local police arrived. His act of courage earned him Hero of the Year by the American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.188 Sep 14, 2010

Eric Cantor: Leader of the "Young Guns" conservative movement

Cantor was elected in 2000 and two years later was already on the leadership track, chosen as deputy chief whip.

What prompted Cantor, Ryan and McCarthy to come together was a story in "The Weekly Standard". They knew each other as members of the embattled Republican caucus that had lost control of the House in the disastrous 2006 mid-term election. But they hadn't realized their individual skills were remarkably complementary: Cantor the leader, Ryan the thinker, McCarthy the strategist.

With money, manpower, and advice, Young Guns supports challengers, many in races that otherwise might be ignored by the national party. Young Guns is partial to young, reform-minded Republicans. In short, Cantor, Ryan and McCarthy would like to fill the ranks of House Republicans with members, like themselves, committed to policies and legislation infused with the principles of limited government, free markets, and individual freedom.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p. vii-ix Sep 14, 2010

Erik Paulsen: 2008: Succeeded Rep. Jim Ramstad after serving as his aide

In the 3rd District of Minnesota we faced the retirement of Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad in 2008.

Eric Paulsen had been a businessman and a public servant. He had served in the state legislature and had been chosen to serve in leadership (in his case as majority leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives). He had also worked for Congressman Ramstad as legislative director and director of his home office in Minnesota. In addition to his public service experience, Erik also brought sixteen years of business experience to the campaign.

And while Erik campaigned for the ideals we all supported, what made him stand out was his hard work. Erik in many ways simply outworked his opponent to win by 8 points in a very tough environment and a district that Democrats had targeted as a potential pickup.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.160-161 Sep 14, 2010

Kevin McCarthy: Strategist of the "Young Guns" conservative movement

McCarthy was elected in 2006. He had campaigned for many of his Republican colleagues and was familiar with most of the others. In 2008, Rep. Cantor tapped McCarthy as his chief deputy whip.

What prompted Cantor, Rep. Ryan and McCarthy to come together was a story in "The Weekly Standard" (with separate profiles on each of them). They appeared on the cover in a photo taken on a Capitol balcony overlooking the Mall. They knew each other as members of the embattled Republican caucus that had lost control of the House in the disastrous 2006 mid-term election. But they hadn't realized their individual skills were remarkably complimentary: Cantor the leader, Ryan the thinker, McCarthy the strategist. Some of us at "The Weekly Standard" had noticed this. Thus the cover story.

The party establishment was dedicated to protecting incumbents at all cost. Cantor, Ryan and McCarthy would like to fill the ranks of House Republicans with members like themselves. Young Guns is not for "me-too" Republicans.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p. vii-ix Sep 14, 2010

Kevin McCarthy: Led 2010 effort for electable reformist Republicans

I met McCarthy in 2004 when he was the Republican leader in the California legislature. McCarthy is an expert on how to win House races. He dropped by my office several months after the Republican debacle in 2006. He'd just been elected to his first term He was already working on a strategy for political recovery. In 2010, he led the effort to recruit electable Republican House candidates. McCarthy's favorites? Candidates fresh to politics and bursting with enthusiasm about reforming Washington.
Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p. x Sep 14, 2010

Kevin McCarthy: Christened "Young Guns" in 2007 in "Weekly Standard" article

The new generation of pro-market, small government leaders filled such a need that in October 2007, Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard profiled Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Kevin McCarthy and christened them the "young guns."

Kevin approached Eri & Paul about the idea of traveling together, as "Young Guns", to visit Republican candidates interested in a new approach for the party.

What began as an informal way to support like-minded candidates became a more formal structure. Once we had studie the candidate and given him or her our support to become a Young Gun, we committed to providing financial support through our campaign committees.

We knew we weren't the only House Republicans eager to change our party, so we began approaching our colleagues with a simple pitch: Are we willing to help ourselves by being proactive and going on the offense to change this House? Dozens of our House Republican colleagues joined our Young Gun effort as one of the many signs that our party had shifted.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.155-156 Sep 14, 2010

Kevin McCarthy: 2009: Tea Party roadtrip to recruit candidates

In 2009. the Tea Party protests and the health-care town hall meeting happened. I joined Rep. Lynn Westmoreland on a road trip across America to visit districts and recruit candidates.

There was one person who caught my eye when we were recruiting in Tennessee: Stephen Fincher. After we met, he decided to run for Congress in against Rep. John Tanner, an entrenched incumbent who hadn't faced serious opposition since 1994. [After Fincher gained momentum], Tanner announced he would not seek reelection!

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.172-174 Sep 14, 2010

Lynn Jenkins: 20 years as State Treasurer; background as CPA

Jenkins, a certified public accountant for over twenty years, was elected State Treasurer of Kansas in 2002 and reelected four years later. Prior to her service as state treasurer she had served for four years in the Kansas State Legislature.

Her background as a CPA and experience as state treasurer matched up well with the growing concerns about the economy and the lack of fiscal discipline in Washington.

Lynn campaigned on making tax cuts permanent, cutting spending to reduce the deficit, and providing additional smart tax relief to the struggling middle class. Kansas respected her experience and commitment to fiscal responsibility, limited government, and political accountability. She went on the defeat Nancy Boyda 51%-46%, regaining a seat we had lost just two years before in 2006.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.159-160 Sep 14, 2010

Lynn Westmoreland: 2009: Tea Party roadtrip to recruit candidates

In 2009. the Tea Party protests and the health-care town hall meeting happened. I joined Rep. Lynn Westmoreland on a road trip across America to visit districts and recruit candidates.

There was one person who caught my eye when we were recruiting in Tennessee: Stephen Fincher. After we met, he decided to run for Congress in against Rep. John Tanner, an entrenched incumbent who hadn't faced serious opposition since 1994. [After Fincher gained momentum], Tanner announced he would not seek reelection!

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.172-174 Sep 14, 2010

Milton Friedman: There is no such thing as a free lunch

One of my heroes, the economist Milton Friedman, used to have a saying, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." What he meant is that nothing is free; someone, somewhere, always pays. Despite utopian marketing promises, government health care is not exempt from Friedman's dictum. Far from it. It will raise costs, and someone, somewhere, will pay. By creating a new health-care entitlement while doing nothing to restrain health-care costs, let alone the needless overuse of medical facilities, Democratic health reform will inevitably lead to rationing of care and higher costs. There is no "free" health care just like there is no free lunch. Someone always pays. The American people understand without having to be told that this "someone" is them.
Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.103 Sep 14, 2010

Paul Ryan: Thinker of the "Young Guns" conservative movement

Ryan, by 2004, emerged as the congressman who knew more about the federal budget and health care than anyone else in Washington.

In "The Weekly Standard", they appeared on the cover in a photo taken on a Capitol balcony overlooking the Mall. They kne each other as members of the embattled Republican caucus that had lost control of the House in the disastrous 2006 mid-term election. But they hadn't realized their individual skills were remarkably complimentary: Cantor the leader, Ryan the thinker, McCarthy the strategist. Some of us at "The Weekly Standard" had noticed this. Thus the cover story.

In a sense, their alliance and the creation of Young Guns was a revolt against the older, established Republican leaders in the House. The party establishment was dedicated to protecting incumbents at all cost. With money, manpower, and advice, Young Guns supports challengers. Young Guns is not for "me-too" Republicans, those comfortable with a scaled-back version of the Democratic agenda.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p. vii-ix Sep 14, 2010

Paul Ryan: Liberals started calling themselves Progressivists

A few years back, most left-of-center pundits and politicians stopped calling themselves "liberals" and started calling themselves "Progressives." I can't say precisely why they made this switch.

Progressivism is actually an old political movement in America, going back before the beginning of the 20th century. Progressivism marked the point at which some politicians and intellectuals began for the first time to question the meaning of the Constitution, that the Constitution should be a "living" document whose meaning had to "keep up with the times." Suddenly government could create "rights"--and just as easily as it could create them, it could take them away.

The Progressivist vision is to create a new American person who no longer strives to better oneself but accepts one's station in life--and looks to the government to help cope not only with difficulties but with every important personal decision.

[This statement is factually incorrect; see OnTheIssues.org FactCheck --ed.]

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.131-132 Sep 14, 2010

Stephen Fincher: A farmer who's concerned about where this country's going

There was one person who caught my eye when we were recruiting in Tennessee: Stephen Fincher. He walked into the room we were in and said: "Mr. Kevin, my name's Stephen Fincher, and I'm from Frog Jump, Tennessee. I'm a farmer, & I'm concerned about where this country's going."

Stephen in many ways epitomizes the type of candidates Young Guns is trying to recruit. He told us: "How am I going to answer my children in the future when they ask me, 'What did you do when the country changed? Did you stand u and fight?'"

Fincher ended up fighting. After we met, he decided to run for Congress. But through hard work and the trust of his family and friends, Stephen barnstormed the district and raised a spectacular $1 million. His momentum and the changing political environment had an impact: Tanner announced he would not seek reelection! Stephen epitomizes what Young Guns is all about--and his commitment to bringing fiscal sanity, accountability, and fresh ideas is sorely needed in Congress.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.172-174 Sep 14, 2010

  • The above quotations are from Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,
    by Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Kevin McCarthy.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Principles & Values.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Paul Ryan on Principles & Values.
  • Click here for more quotes by Eric Cantor on Principles & Values.
2012 Presidential contenders on Principles & Values:
Republicans:
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Third Parties:
Green: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
>Libertarian: Jill Stein(MA)
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Aug 20, 2012