As The Hill reports, “Democrats like what they hear from Ryan.” In fact, they like it so much, they think he sounds more like one of them than a Republican, let alone a Conservative.
“It sounded an awful lot like a Democrat speaking,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), referring to Paul Ryan’s initial speech. Crowley is vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus. “I think he’s a good person and a decent guy. That came through, I think, today,” he added.
Other prominent Dems were quick to seize upon Ryan’s rhetoric as a rationale for passing Democrat priorities.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said she’s hoping Ryan’s allusion to the struggles of the working class will reignite the congressional debate over the minimum wage, childcare benefits and gender pay parity — issues Democrats have long promoted.
“The frame of reference that he had there this morning says that we have people in this nation who are struggling economically,” DeLauro said. “Their jobs don’t pay them enough, [and] wages have been stagnant for 30 years. He talked about the many and not the few. And so far, the few have benefited so mightily and the many have not.
“My hope is that this reflects a change in public policy.”
With many Conservative Republicans still skeptical of Ryan and an outgoing Speaker many felt was too accommodating to Democrats, including the White House, the Democrat embrace of Ryan as Speaker will likely do little to calm conservative’s concerns.