Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) addressed the entitlements issue on Sunday, vouching for a system that provides safety without a severe reliance on government.
"We don't want a dependency culture," he told NBC's "Meet The Press." "We want a safety net that makes sure that people don't fall through the cracks. That gets people on their feet."
The d-word was famously used by Ryan's 2012 running mate, Mitt Romney, in September, when he was caught on tape saying that the majority of individuals who support President Barack Obama do so because they are "dependent on government."
Ryan's comments come days after a point of contention surrounding the same issue within Obama's 2013 Inaugural Address. The president addressed social safety net programs, using some language that lined up directly against Ryan's perspective.
"The commitments we make to each other -- through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security -- these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us," Obama said. "They do not make us a nation of takers. They free us to take the risks that make this country great."
Ryan responded on Tuesday's edition of "The Laura Ingraham Show," charging that Obama used a "straw man" argument.
"When the president does a switcheroo like that, what he's trying to say is that we are maligning these programs that people have earned throughout their working lives," Ryan said. "It's kind of a convenient twist of terms to try and shadowbox a straw man in order to win an argument by default."