Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan said rumours of a “civil war” tearing apart the Republican Party are greatly exaggerated in his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. Thursday morning.
Ryan drew laughs from the crowd by cracking a joke about the perceived tensions between different wings of the GOP.
“It’s tea party versus establishment, libertarians versus social conservatives. There’s infighting, conflict, backfighting, discord. Look, I’m Irish, that’s my idea of a family reunion,” said Ryan.
Ryan, the former Republican vice presidential nominee and possible 2016 presidential candidate went on to acknowledge there are differences among some Republicans. However, he characterised these disagreements as being about strategy rather than “principles.”
“I don’t see this great divide in this party. What I see is a vibrant debate,” Ryan said. “I like to think of it as creative tension. For the most part these disagreements have not been over principles or over policies, they have been over tactics. So, I think we should give each other the benefit of the doubt.”
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