DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Two possible Republican presidential candidates speaking in Iowa on Monday criticized their own party leaders for failing to cut enough from the federal budget.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul criticized both President Barack Obama’s budget and a proposal by Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan in a speech at an Iowa college.
“Neither of those budgets will solve our problems, won’t even come close,” said Paul, speaking at the Dordt College Campus Center in Sioux Center Monday morning.
In a speech at an Iowa high school, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann criticized a last-minute budget deal reached Friday between Obama and congressional leaders which narrowly averted a government shutdown. The compromise plan would cut $37.8 billion in spending for the rest of the fiscal year.
“I broke with my own leadership this weekend...” Bachmann said at Pella Christian High School. “I‘m very disappointed at the bill that came through... The voters expected us to defund ObamaCare.”
Paul said both the Obama and Ryan plans accept the idea the government will want to run the welfare system.
“Ryan‘s, even though he makes an attempt at it, doesn’t reject that notion. I do,” Paul said.
Ryan is the new chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee and has offered a detailed proposal for holding down federal spending over the long term.
Congressman Paul also criticized spending on “maintaining our empire” and “being the policeman of the world.”
“All great societies ... have ended for foreign policy reasons,” Paul said. “That’s what brought the Soviets down.”
Paul said he also opposes raising the nation’s federal debt limit.
Bachmann spoke extensively of her Christian credentials. She talked of trying to get a constitutional amendment passed in Minnesota that would ban gay marriage and about how she and her husband have been “sidewalk counselors” on abortion.
“I will not give up until we give life the position it deserves in the United States,” Bachmann said.
Iowa’s party caucuses early in 2012 are the first test of presidential contenders.
Reporting by Kay Henderson; Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Greg McCune