Woodchucks Ate Paul Ryan's SUV

'It's just dead'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2018 2:57 AM CDT
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan addresses The Economic Club of Washington, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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(Newser) – Paul Ryan is planning to buy a new car when he leaves office in January—partly because he will no longer be driven around by a security detail, and partly because a family of woodchucks ate his old one. The House speaker told an Economic Club of Washington event Thursday that the animals wrecked his Chevy Suburban, which he had left at his mother's house in Janesville, Wis., over the winter, NPR reports. He said after it wouldn't start, "I towed it into the dealer, they put it up, and they realized that a family of woodchucks lived in the underbody of my Suburban."

The animals had eaten the wiring and the SUV is "just dead," Ryan said, to laughter. The marmot species, also known as groundhogs, have caused problems for plenty of other drivers, UCLA expert Daniel Blumstein tells the Verge. He says animals have been destroying wiring and appear to be "attracted to radiator fluid." "It can’t be good for them," he notes. During his Washington talk, Ryan said he disagreed with Trump's new tariffs on goods from countries including China. The Republican said he won't rule out a presidential bid, "but I really, really do not have it in my mind ... for sure not while my kids are at home, and they're home for the next 5 years." (Ryan's former driver is running to replace him in Congress.)

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