Full Video: Paul Ryan on His Thoughts on Ayn Rand, the Truth About Attack Ads, and His 'Chemistry' With Romney
Tonight on Special Report, Brit Hume snagged the first solo interview with Paul Ryan given since Saturday's Republican VP announcement. In the sit-down, Hume challenged the Wisconsin representative on tax policy and Medicare cuts, as well as got his take on everything from Romney to Ayn Rand.
Hume asked Ryan to weigh in on his relationship with Romney and how it evolved.
“You know, we spent about five days in a row – five, 14-hour-or-so days. And in between all of those stops, driving from, you know, Appleton to Green Bay to Janesville to Milwaukee, we got to know each other," Ryan said. "We conversed on policy issues, on where to take the country, and sooner or later we were basically sharing the microphones at these town hall meetings. And we just kind of developed a chemistry with one another and a mutual understanding of each other.”
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Ryan also responded to a recent attack ad going after the Republican ticket and their view on Medicare. "This ad suggests, I gather it's going to be seen a lot of places, that you and Governor Romney think that Medicare, which has been a very difficult issue for Republicans for a very long time, [that] people automatically think Republicans are hostile to Medicare, can be a winning issue for you. How?" Hume challenged.
The congressman didn't back down, saying that in fact he and Romney "absolutely" believe it can be a "winning issue."
"Absolutely, because we're the ones who are offering a plan to save Medicare, to protect Medicare, to strengthen Medicare. We're the ones who are not raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare. We're the ones who are repealing President Obama's 15-person bureaucratic board that will put price controls on Medicare that will lead to denied care for current seniors. We're the ones continuing the guarantee of Medicare for people in or near retirement. And you have to reform it for the younger generation in order to make the commitment stick for the current generation. President Obama is actually damaging Medicare for current seniors. It's irrefutable. And that's why I think this is a debate we want to have, and that's a debate we're going to win," he said.
Ryan continued, discussing the role Obamacare plays in the president's policy-making decisions. "Here's the issue: what President Obama is trying to do with his Medicare plan is he's trying to count a dollar twice. He's trying to suggest that these Medicare cuts can help Medicare. It doesn't because he is taking those dollars from Medicare to spend on Obamacare. We prevent that from happening in the House budget. But lets be clear here, Brit. I am on the Romney ticket. And what Mitt Romney is proposing is to repeal all of Obamacare. And in the house repeatedly I have voted with that position, I support that position, I'm pleased to support the position of getting rid of every piece of Obamacare, including the cuts to Medicare, which are used to pay for Obamacare.
Hume concluded the interview by asking Ryan to about his view on author Ayn Rand, someone whose works the congressman has been known to cite as inspiration for many policy ideas and beliefs. He told Hume he enjoys her novels, and that Atlas Shrugged, for one, triggered his interest in economy, going so far as to say that it was the reason he wanted to study economics.
“She showed how the pitfalls of socialism can hurt the economy, can hurt people, families and individuals [...] which says freedom, free enterprise, liberty is so much better than totalitarianism, socialism,” he said.
Later, however, Ryan says he learned about Rand's life philosophy -- objectivism -- something he says he greatly disagrees with.