- Views & Opinions
Former vice presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan went home to Janesville, Wis., and unplugged after he and Republican running mate Mitt Romney lost the election last week.
No news, no interviews – just time with his family.
“It hurts to lose a big election like this, but I don’t have any regrets whatsoever,” Ryan told The Journal Times on Monday, in a series of interviews with the local media. “We ran the kind of race we wanted to run,” campaigning on “specific solutions and big ideas.”
He was re-elected for the eighth time to the House as southeastern Wisconsin’s congressman. Ryan said after he returned home on Nov. 7 he attended his son’s basketball games and his daughter’s volleyball games and went hunting, even helping daughter Liza get her hunter safety certificate.
Ultimately, he said President Barack Obama, re-elected with almost 51 percent of the popular vote, “did a better job of getting the voters to the polls.”
“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. “The bitter part is we lost a major presidential election at a critical time.”
He was headed back to Washington this week as the House Budget Committee’s chair to start a lame duck session that hopes to make headway addressing the country’s debt problems before a new wave of tax increases and spending cuts take effect.
“Whether people intended to or not, they re-elected a divided government,” Ryan said. “But the difference is, this time we need to work.”
With Republicans making up the House majority and Democrats controlling the White House and Senate, Ryan said getting to work depends on finding common ground, which he said hinges on whether Democrats put a concrete proposal on the table.
“Hopefully the president will lead by putting out specific solutions that we can work from,” Ryan said.
He said pursuing nationwide tax reform and taking a “hard look” at entitlement programs is the best solution.