Obama described the Ryan budget as "laughable" and said Ryan's Medicare “premium support” plan would “end Medicare as we know it.”
Here's a summary of the speech from Talking Points Memo:
Obama decried key planks of the Republican agenda — particularly calls for large tax cuts for wealthy Americans, and a plan to phase out traditional Medicare — which he took care to describe accurately, though in hostile terms.This is how Greg Sargent summed up the political case made by Obama: "The GOP approach has already failed us. In its current, more radical iteration, it’s a departure from longtime consensus about government’s proper role in spurring economic growth and in guarding against the excesses of unfettered capitalism. And that addressing inequality and tax unfairness isn’t just morally right; it’s the only way to secure the country’s future."
And in response to questions from the audience, Obama urged the press not to confuse rancor over the parties’ competing visions for the country as typical partisan bitterness for which Democrats and Republicans are equally culpable.
Chiding Republicans for not learning anything from the failure of trickle-down policies that defined the last decades, Obama attacked the GOP budget head-on. “They have proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract for America look like the New Deal,” he said. “In fact, that renowned liberal, Newt Gingrich, first called the original version of the budget radical. He said it would contribute to right-wing social engineering. … This is now the party’s governing platform. This is what they are running on. One of my potential opponents, Gov. Romney, has said he hopes a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on Day One of his presidency.”