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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Why Not President Ryan?

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Stephen Hayes has a great read in The Weekly Standard about Ryan's decision not to run for the top spot this year, featuring an on-air interview I had with him last year.  (Needless to say, none of the exchange was reported in the local media at the time.)

On August 12, the same day he would meet with Luntz at his home in Janesville, Ryan let some of his thinking creep into public view during an interview with Milwaukee radio host Charlie Sykes.


Looking at the Republican field right now,” said Sykes, “are you confident that the candidates there are able to articulate the issues of the debt and the deficit and the need to reform entitlements in the way that you want to see done?”

Ryan laughed. “Why did you ask me that?”

“You know exactly why I asked you that question.”

“I know. We’ll see. I didn’t see it last night. I haven’t seen it to date. We’ll see. People’s campaigns evolve—they get better. So we’ll see.”

Ryan then broadened his comments. “Look, the way I see 2012—we owe it to the country to let them choose the path they want our country to take. And I just have yet to see a strong and principled articulation of the kind of limited-government, opportunity-society path that we would provide as an alternative to the Obama cradle-to-grave welfare state.”

Sykes pressed him: “Do you think that it is absolutely essential that there be a Republican candidate who is able to articulate—”

Ryan cut him off: “I do. Because this is how we get our country back. We do it through a referendum letting the country pick the path, not by having a committee of 12 people pick the path or not by having just the inertia of just letting the status quo just stumble through by winning a campaign based on dividing people.”

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