BY FRAN SPIELMAN
City Hall Reporter
Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned Tuesday that the U.S. House Republican budget crafted by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan could trigger a recession.
Emanuel, the former White House chief-of-staff now co-chairing the President's re-election campaign, took his first shot at Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's chosen running-mate.
The mayor said he served with Ryan on the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Budget Committee and believes Ryan's budget-cutting ideas do not chart the right course for the nation or the middle class.
"A lot of independent economists say his budget would lead to a recession," Emanuel said. "I don't think a recession is a pro-growth strategy."
Parroting the "talking points" Democrats have been using since Romney's selection of Ryan, Emanuel said he looks forward to the national debate about the Republican ticket's "different vision" of Medicare and Social Security and about what constitutes "tax fairness" for struggling middle-class families.
"There are big differences between President Obama and Gov. Romney about different directions and whose voices get heard in the Oval Office...I will help the President because I think his vision is one on behalf of the middle-class to make sure their voices and their concerns are at the center of the office," Emanuel said.
"I believe firmly in what the President is working toward in the sense of making sure that the middle class of this country have a shot at the American dream. Like they did, they want to make sure [the dream is still alive] for their children. The stress for the middle-class [is enormous]--whether it's saving for their kids' college education, paying for their health care, their home or the security of their job."
Emanuel then re-traced a path of attack he has followed repeatedly against Romney, who opposed the auto industry bail-out even though George Romney, the candidate's father, once served as chairman of American Motors.
"Gov. Romney said, `Let it go bankrupt,' " the mayor said. "1.2 million people are working today in manufacturing in the auto industry because President Obama [not only] rejected bankruptcy, but said, `We're gonna re-structure and put these communities and these workers back to work building a great auto industry here."