Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan suggests the GOP needs to be the party that proposes solutions — and he hinted at a bid of his own for the White House during a speech at Governor Branstad’s “Birthday Bash” fundraiser tonight. The last time Ryan was in Iowa it was the night before the election and he was Mitt Romney’s running mate.
“Maybe we should come back and do this more often,” Ryan said this evening to open his remarks. “People are really friendly here, I tell you.”
Ryan told the crowd he and the rest of the Romney team had been “in a funk for a good six months” after losing the election.
“As I look back at the campaign, I think one of the problem Mitt and I had was that we were arguing against big government in theory,” Ryan said.
Ryan said Americans are now seeing “big government” in action through the failures of the Affordable Care Act.
“Either they were being dishonest or they are just incompetent. Frankly, I don’t know which one is the worst,” Ryan said. “…I’m sorry is just not going to cut it. That’s the lesson I think they’re learning and so the next time you have a famous politician coming through Iowa, breezing through the towns, let’s be a little bit more skeptical.”
Ryan told the crowd he’s “optimistic” about the Republican Party’s chances in 2014 and 2016, but he cautioned the GOP to be the party of “proposition” rather than “opposition.”
AUDIO of Ryan’s speech, 19:00
Senator Chuck Grassley said Paul’s prospects as a 2016 presidential candidate “depend on how hard he wants to work.”
“Now he’ll have name recognition that other people won’t have and that’s always a big help, you know,” Grassley said this evening, “but it takes hard work to be a candidate for president.”
Governor Branstad said Ryan is an “ideas person” who is “really working hard to try to put together a bipartisan” budget deal in Washington, but Branstad now is not the time to talk presidential politics. About 800 people gathered at the Palace Theater at Adventureland in Altoona for Branstad’s fundraiser,