Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan further muddled his stance on requesting stimulus money in a Fox News interview Saturday, complicating a stance that he has contradicted multiple times in the past week.The Boston Globe reported this week that Ryan wrote at least four letters to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu asking for stimulus money for a “pair of Wisconsin conservation groups” in his district. He then backtracked, saying he “never asked for stimulus money” in a local television interview last week.
On Saturday, he acknowledged that the requests had come from his office — but maybe not directly from him.
“My office sends tens of thousands of letters to various federal agencies,” Ryan told Fox News’ Carl Cameron in Florida. “This went through what we call my case work system, where it was treated as a case work request for constituents,” Ryan said. “I take full responsibility for it. It wasn’t my intention to send letters supporting the stimulus.”
The Wall Street Journal has the four letters, each of which look to be signed somewhat similarly except for the last, which is simply signed “Paul.”
“I didn’t know about those letters until very recently when they were brought to my attention,” Ryan said Saturday, “because they went through our constituent case work system. I take full responsibility for that. The point I’m trying to make is, the stimulus was a failure.”
So let’s take a look at the evolution on this:
- The Journal asked Ryan about this issue in 2010. A spokesperson said then that Ryan “does not believe flawed policy should get in the way of doing his job and providing a legitimate constituent service to his employers.”
- He backtracked on Thursday, saying he didn’t “recall” and “never asked for stimulus money.”
- On Saturday, he accepted “full responsibility” but claimed it “wasn’t my intention.”
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