In the CBS’s “Face the Nation” aired on the last Sunday, co-anchor Norah O’Donnell asked GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan about inconsistency of his voting for defense cuts in last summer with Mitt Romney’s recent statement in an interview on NBC that Republicans were wrong to agree to a deal last summer that included automatic cuts to defense spending in exchange for the agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

After quoting Ryan’s statement immediate after his voting, O’Donnell said

“You voted for the Budget Control Act. In fact I went and looked, you put out a statement at the time it was passed and you called it a victory, and you called it a positive step forward. And now you're criticizing the president for those same defense cuts that you voted for and called a victory.

The writer (Glenn Kessler) inserted the line “It is a rah-rah statement designed to win votes, but does not indicate that he called the defense cuts a victory,” before Ryan’s answer:

“That's putting politics out of national security. “More to the point, I authored the bill, brought it to the floor, and passed it to prevent the president's irresponsible, devastating defense cuts from occurring by cutting wasteful Washington spending in other areas of government to replace these defense cuts.”

I know “rah” is equivalent to hurrah, but what does “rah-rah” statement mean? Does it mean populistic statement? In what cases can I use “rah-rah” statement / remark reaction other else?

1 Answer 1


rah-rah: adj informal chiefly ( US ) like or marked by boisterous and uncritical enthusiasm and excitement

rah-rah is often used in association with cheerleaders as they are getting the crowd excited and feeling good about their team while not really having any direct effect on the outcome of the game.

Here it indicates that Ryan's statement was intended to do just that: get the audience excited and enthusiastic about voting for Ryan and Romney, while not really answering the question or admitting to any contradiction.

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