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Paul Ryan: We have to make this divided government work

CREATED Nov 12, 2012 - UPDATED: Nov 12, 2012

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  • Video by wtmj.com

  • Video by wtmj.com


MILWAUKEE- For the first time since the election Congressman Paul Ryan is talking about what went wrong and what his future holds.

Ryan sat down with a one-on-one interview with TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson.

Click here to watch the entire interview.

Congressman Ryan says he has no regrets.  He says President Obama won fair and square.  But that doesn't mean Ryan and Republicans are ready to give in on the tough issues facing the country.

Congressman Ryan
: "I look back at this experience as a very positive one."
Charles Benson:  "Were you really surprise by the election results?"
Congressman Ryan: "Yeah we were. We thought we had a very good chance of winning."

They even lost Wisconsin despite getting more votes than Scott Walker in the June 5 recall and the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008.

"What we did not foresee was the increase in turnout that the Democrats got particularly in urban areas," said Ryan.

The debate over taxes and entitlement reforms now moves from the campaign trail to Congress.

Charles Benson: "This is a debate you wanted to have with the country.  Do you think you lost the debate or lost that argument?"
Congressman Ryan: "I'm glad we had this debate. If I had to do it over again. I would do it the same kind of way."
Congressman Ryan: "I think this election was not won or lost based on entitlement reform."

Ryan believes there will be plenty of time for the GOP to do some soul-searching but not when it comes to raising taxes.

Congressman Ryan: "We can get higher revenues but raising tax rates to me is the
worst way to go about doing that because that hurts economic growth and job creation."
Charles Benson: "Do you think there needs to be compromise?"
Congressman Ryan: "Yeah I do. We have divided government. We are going to have find a way to make this divided government work."

It's back to work for Ryan in Washington on Tuesday. But before leaving he was catching up on some hunting with his brothers and family time at home.

Charles Benson: "So let me be the first to ask you about 2016?"
Congressman Ryan: "Oh gosh, we just got through a presidential election. Aren't you tired of this stuff Charles? (Laughs.)"

Ryan says for now, it's not even on is radar screen.