Candidate Pawlenty Says He Would Sign Ryan Budget Plan

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, now a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, praised the courage and leadership displayed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., with his budget plan.

The Washington Post: Pawlenty Says That, As President, He Would Sign Ryan Medicare Plan
Pawlenty, who officially kicked off his presidential campaign on Monday and has been touring the nation with stops in Iowa, Florida, Washington and New Hampshire, went further than he has in previous appearances in which he has praised the "courage" and "leadership" of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the author of the Medicare proposal. But he stopped short of supporting the details of the plan (Gardner, 5/26).

The Hill: Pawlenty: I Would Sign Ryan Plan
After days of pestering from Democrats, White House contender Tim Pawlenty said Thursday he would sign Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget if he were president. Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, reiterated that he will release his own budget proposal that differs from Ryan's in key areas like Social Security and Medicare. But he said that if Congress passed Ryan's plan — and his was not up for consideration — he would sign Ryan's into law (Fabian, 5/26).

CNN: Pawlenty: I'd Sign Ryan Budget Plan As President, If I Couldn't Have My Own
Ryan's budget bill includes a provision that would drastically change Medicare for those 55 and younger from a program that pays for seniors' health care into a voucher-like system that would give seniors payments to help cover expenses. On Wednesday, Pawlenty refused to say if he'd sign – or veto – Ryan's plan if he were president. But after speaking to employees Thursday at Cirtronic Corp. – an electronic contract manufacturer in Milford, New Hampshire – Pawlenty did not hesitate. "If I can't have my own plan as president – I'll have my own plan – if I can't have that and the bill came to my desk and I had to choose between signing or not , Congressman Ryan's plan, of course I'd sign it," Pawlenty said in response to a reporter's question (Travis, 5/26).

In other news related to presidential politics –

The Associated Press: Romney Returns To Iowa With A Leaner Organization
The former Massachusetts governor plans to officially announce his second bid for the presidency next week in New Hampshire, the state around which he's built his 2012 strategy (5/27). 

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