Paul Ryan told an audience a year ago that 30% of the country want a welfare state.
“Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want the welfare state,” Ryan said. “Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers.” (It’s not definitively clear whether Ryan said “the welfare state” or “their welfare state.” HuffPost originally transcribed it as “their welfare state.” Regardless, the comment was made in reference to people on government assistance.)
Ryan’s comments were delivered as part of his keynote address at The American Spectator’s 2011 Robert L. Bartley Gala Dinner, which the magazine posted online. A reader tipped HuffPost to Ryan’s speech, given in November — six months before Romney’s videotaped remarks.
This isn’t exactly a bombshell; the Republicans have always seen Other People as being moochers and leeches who don’t share in the bootstrap mentality and oh by the way they’re probably not white, either.
It also explains why the Republicans are having such a tough time selling the idea that they actually give a shit about people, and it makes selling Mitt Romney as an empathetic candidate a little like trying to get an alligator to eat nothing but salad.
This is what real class warfare looks like.