Ryan: 'Oh Gosh,' Loss Was 'Pretty Sad'

Former VP candidate gives first post-election interviews

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 13, 2012 8:48 AM CST
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(Newser) – Paul Ryan did a bit of a post-election media blitz yesterday—but no, he didn't reveal any plans to toss his hat into the 2016 ring, telling Madison's CBS affiliate WISC-TV it's too soon to discuss. "Oh gosh, we just finished a presidential election," Ryan said. "I think everybody’s tired of talking about presidential politics. I am." More from that interview, as reported by Politico and the Washington Post, plus Ryan's sit-downs with the Racine Journal Times and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

  • “We thought this was going to be a very close race. We thought we had a good chance of winning," Ryan said. In all three interviews, he gave President Obama credit for getting better voter turnout, particularly in urban areas.
  • Ryan's home state of Wisconsin, which has not voted for a Republican president since 1984, was always "an uphill fight," he said, insisting that "Mitt didn't pick me for Wisconsin," but rather because of his experience on budget issues.
  • Ryan doesn't think his plan to cut Medicare hurt the ticket, particularly because he and Romney won seniors 56% to 44%. In 2008, John McCain carried older voters 53% to 45%.
  • "We were with the Romneys when we knew it was over," Ryan said, calling the mood in the hotel suite "pretty sad. And our comments more or less revolved around our concern for the country." It was Ryan's first election loss, and he called it "a foreign experience. It's tough to describe it."
  • His homecoming Wednesday was "bittersweet," Ryan said, noting that he spent time with his family for a few days and didn't watch any TV other than football.
  • "Right now, I look at what I’ve just been re-elected to do, to represent Wisconsin, to be the chairman of the Budget Committee, to deal with these budget and fiscal and economic issues. I’m going to throw myself back to that work because it’s work that needs to get done."
Ryan's first post-election national TV interview airs today on ABC.

Mitt Romney embraces Paul Ryan after Romney conceded the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston.
Mitt Romney embraces Paul Ryan after Romney conceded the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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Oh, 2016, let's not talk about that stuff. That's four years away. I think we're all tired of presidential politics at this time. - Paul Ryan to the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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