A video of former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles began circulating in conservative news outlets today. In the clip, the Democratic co-chair of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform gives high praises to Paul Ryan's budget plan.
"I'm telling you, this guy is amazing. I always thought I was OK with arithmetic. This guy can run circles around me," Bowles tells a class of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"He is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did by four trillion dollars."
The video was shot on September 8, 2011, but was just uploaded to YouTube yesterday. What's striking is that not only does Bowles, a former U.S. Senate candidate from North Carolina, praise Ryan's effort, but he is also highly critical of the budget offered by President Obama. More from the video:
"The president came out with his own plan. And the president, as you remember, came out with a budget. And I don't think anybody took that budget very seriously," Bowles continues.
"The Senate voted against it 97 to nothing. He therefore, after a lot of pressure from folks like me, he came out with a new budget framework. And in that budget framework, he cuts the budget by four trillion dollars over twelve years. And, to be candid, this four trillion dollars cut was very heavily back-end loaded. So, that if you looked at it on a ten-year basis and compared apples to apples, it really was about a two and a half trillion dollar cut."
The clip aired Monday on Fox News Channel's "Your World With Neil Cavuto" and has been picked up on conservative blogs, including Ace of Spades, which writes, from September 2011, "I see this in an ad. Our ad."