Lance Armstrong ‘Not Touching’ Question on Obama’s Handling of GOP’s Proposed NIH Budget Cut

By Nicholas Ballasy | March 28, 2011 | 4:01 AM EDT

Lance Armstrong (AP Photo)

( – Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor, said he would not comment on whether President Barack Obama is being politically tough enough in confronting House Republicans who want to trim some of the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). asked Armstrong, “I just want to ask you if you think President Obama has stood up enough to House Republicans on this issue?”

Armstrong said, “Oh, I’m not touching that. I’m not touching that one.”

In H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, House Republicans have proposed to cut the NIH budget by 5.2 percent.

During the press conference at the National Press Club on Thursday, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, Armstrong, founder of Livestrong, said now is not the time to cut funding for medical research.

“Now is not the time to back down,” he said, “and I think that the – if you collected the brightest people in this country and put them in one room, they would tell you that now is the time we actually need to accelerate things.”