PAUL RYAN: Mitt Romney's '47 Per Cent' Comments Were 'Wrong'

Paul RyanReutersRep. Paul Ryan at an event on May 16, 2014.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) who was the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012 reflected on one of the more controversial moments of that race in an interview with Charlie Rose that aired on PBS Monday evening. During the discussion, Rose asked Ryan about a video that emerged showing Romney telling donors 47 per cent of Americans would vote for President Barack Obama “no matter what” because they are “dependent on government.”

Ryan responded that what Romney said “was wrong.” He went on to describe it as an ineffective way to articulate their economic policies.

“What we are trying to communicate is we want to have a system so that everybody can get to where they want to get in life,” Ryan explained.

Ryan remains a vocal supporter of Romney’s and discussed this in his interview with Rose. He addressed mounting speculation Romney could mount a third White House bid in 2016 and implied he would gladly be Romney’s running mate once again.

“I’ll be his bus driver if he wants me to be. Look, I think he’d be a great president,” said Ryan.

He addressed the infamous “47 per cent: video, which was widely seen as pivotal in the last election, during a larger discussion of what Ryan described as “mistakes” he believes he and other conservatives have made when discussing poverty.

Rather than criticising those who are “dependent” on government, Ryan argued conservatives need to clearly articulate support for “bottom-up pro-growth policies” to combat poverty that are focused on local community organisations. He contrasted this with what he described as the “governing philosophy that’s prevailing in Washington right now,” which is focused on social welfare programs run by the government.

Ryan, who recently wrote a book outlining his ideas to combat poverty also discussed the possibility he could run for president in 2016. He said he would make a decision “in the spring of 2015.” Ryan described the main questions he would evaluate in making his choice.

“Family, is there somebody else that I would like and I can back,” Ryan said.

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