After a contentious and hectic election, former VP candidate Paul Ryan is returning to work in Congress, and admitted in his first round of post-election interviews that he’s “tired” of presidential politics.
The veep candidate also shared his opinions regarding why the GOP lost the 2012 election, saying that President Obama managed to turn out his base better than his own party. Ryan admitted that he is “disappointed” with the GOP’s loss, saying that it’s “pretty sad,” that Mitt Romney wasn’t able to secure the presidency. Still, Ryan believes that the 2012 election wasn’t a mandate for President Obama as much as it was a mandate for bipartisanship and compromise.
“We need to start talking to our colleagues to find common ground,” Ryan told WISC-TV. He also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “divided government didn’t work in the last two years. We’re going to have to find a way to make it work in the next two years, because these fiscal issues are getting worse, not better, because of time.”
“I don’t think we lost it on those budget issues, especially Medicare,” Ryan opined. He also stressed his bipartisan motives, acknowledging that his plan for spending and deficit reduction won’t pass on its current merits. “We’re not going to be able to fix this country’s fiscal problems along the way I thought we should have,” he said.
Ryan will return to what is perhaps his most crucial role within Congress: His seat at the head of the House Budget Committee. There, he will play a key role in talks meant to solve the problem of the coming “fiscal cliff,” and hopes that Democrats and Republicans can compromise on a solution.
“Yes, you can increase revenues without having to raise tax rates. Our fear is that if you raise tax rates you hurt economic growth. You hurt small businesses. So through tax reform you can get higher revenues without damaging the economy. We think that’s the better way to go,” Ryan said, adding:
“In order to get things done, in order to reach common ground, both sides need to put out, not just rhetoric, but specific ideas on the table. Then you negotiate. We’re hopeful that the president will begin to show some leadership on this and some other issues so that we can begin to get common ground.”
On his loss, Ryan commented: “It’s bittersweet. The sweet part is I’m back home on the block I grew up on, with my friends and family,” he said in an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal. “The bitter part is we lost a major presidential election at a critical time.”
Will Ryan himself make a run for the presidency in 2016? “I think everybody’s tired of talking about presidential politics, I am,” he said.