Afternoon Fix: Paul Ryan defends Rick Perry on Social Security ‘Ponzi scheme’

at 05:10 PM ET, 09/20/2011

Paul Ryan backs up Rick Perry, Lamar Alexander leaves leadership, and at least one congressman saves lives.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* On Laura Ingraham’s radio show today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agreed with Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) that Social Security resembles a Ponzi scheme. “It’s not a criminal enterprise, but it is a pay as you go system where earlier investors, or say taxpayers, get a positive rate of return and the most recent investors, or taxpayers, get a negative rate of return,” said Ryan. “That’s how those schemes work.”

* Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) is stepping down from his post as Republican Conference chairman and abandoning his hopes of becoming whip in the next Congress. The two-time presidential candidate said he thought he could make the Senate “a more effective institution” outside of leadership. He plans to focus more on “major issues” and bipartisan compromise.

* Who says Congress doesn’t do anything? Rep. (and Dr.) Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) restarted a man’s heart at an airport in North Carolina today, performing CPR and administrating defibrillation. “The guy was dead. There’s no question,” said Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), who was traveling with Roe.“This guy is alive because of Phil Roe and a couple other very important people at the airport.” Roe worked as an obstetrician before running for office.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* In a strategy memo to supporters, the Senate campaign of Michigan Republican Pete Hoesktra writes that the former congressman is taking concerns about his fundraising prowess seriously. “We are cautiously optimistic that we can reach a gross receipt number in the range of $400,000 to $500,000 in this first quarter,” the memo says. Hoekstra hopes to face Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) next year; he faces charter school founder Clark Durant in the primary.

* Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta is hosting a fundraising breakfast for Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) on Oct. 13, with suggested contributions starting at $1,000. Critz won a 2010 special election for the seat formerly held by the late Rep. John Murtha (D) and held the seat later that year, but GOP-controlled redistricting could force him into a seat with fellow Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire.

* Chicago Mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel will be the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Nov. 19th 2011 Jefferson Jackson dinner. It will be Emanuel’s first trip to Iowa since taking office in May; the chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party said in a statement that Emanuel would speak “in support of President Obama.”

* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) has endorsed former Virginia governor George Allen (R) for Senate. Meanwhile, the first debate has been set between Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine, for Dec. 7th.

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