Under President Bush, Republicans increased the national debt by roughly 2.5 times, ran up what may be a multi-trillion dollar tab during the Iraq invasion and occupation, and bailed out failed Detroit automakers.
No wonder that the Republican Party has lost its way and lost elections, said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), on a special CBSNews.com webcast with Katie Couric that took place after President Obama's 100th day press conference on Wednesday evening.
"The main thing that kept Republicans together was fiscal conservatism," a commitment to limited government, and other principles that this country was founded on, Ryan said. "Now we're going in the complete opposite direction."
Alex Conant, a Republican strategist, said on the CBSNews.com webcast on Wednesday that "the first thing we need to do is we need to get back to our principles" and that "we lost our way over the last couple of years." One way to do that, Conant said, were new Republican efforts -- including a set of town hall meetings -- to reconnect with the party's roots.
Ryan admitted that Republicans had become "hypocrites on spending" as they voted for more and more budget-busting bills and ran up the national debt. Both Mr. Bush and Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, backed the bailout legislation last fall.
But now that the Democrats have seized the levers of power in Washington, D.C., Ryan said, they're doing the same thing. "We made those mistakes," Ryan said. "And we're seeing the new majority party repeat those mistakes in spades."
You can watch the videos of Ryan and Conant below:
- Obama: Proud But Not Content
- Obama Urges Swine Flu "Contingency Plans"
- Obama: Info Gained Doesn't Justify Torture
- Obama: "I Don't Want To Run Auto Companies"
- Obama's "Enchanted" Answer
- Obama Hints At Change To "State Secrets" Privilege
- Watch The Full Webcast
- Huffington: Bank Bailouts Could Be Obama's "Achilles' Heel"
- Valerie Jarrett Defends Obama On CIA Memos
- Republicans Ponder: What Next?
- Americans Sound Off On Obama's 100 Days
- Photos: 100 Pictures For 100 Days
- Timeline: The Obama Presidency Day By Day
- Steve Chaggaris: 100 Days In, A Presidency Still Undefined
- Brian Montopoli: What Has Obama Meant For Black America?
- Marc Ambinder: Grading Obama's First 100 Days
- Mark Knoller: 100 Days By The Numbers
- Lara Logan: New President To Be Tested By Old Enemies
- Declan McCullagh: Obama's Transparency Vow Receives Mixed Reviews
- Jessica Derschowitz: The "Obama Effect" In Pop Culture
- Around The Web: What The Media Are Saying
- Chart: 100 Days In The Stock Market
- Word Cloud: President Obama's Words
- Polls: Obama | Race Relations | Torture | Same Sex Marriage | Our Poll, Your Questions | Video: Polling Director
- Complete 100 Days Coverage
Obama's Press Conference:
CBSNews.com's 100 Days Webcast With Katie Couric:
Recap, Analysis & Reaction: