'Bittersweet’ homecoming for Paul Ryan - Former VP candidate reflects, looks ahead

2012-11-12T15:55:00Z 2013-12-17T11:22:02Z 'Bittersweet’ homecoming for Paul Ryan - Former VP candidate reflects, looks aheadALISON BAUTER alison.bauter@journaltimes.com Journal Times

RACINE COUNTY — Congressman Paul Ryan is back in southeastern Wisconsin, a “bittersweet” homecoming following a national vice presidential loss at what he calls “a critical time” for the United States.

"It hurts to lose a big election like this, but I don’t have any regrets whatsoever,” Ryan, whose district includes Racine County, told The Journal Times on Monday. “We ran the kind of race we wanted to run,” campaigning on “specific solutions and big ideas.”

But President Barack Obama, reelected with almost 51 percent of the popular vote, “did a better job of getting the voters to the polls,” Ryan said, adding that the president’s campaign did what it needed to win, and ultimately “won fair and square.”

Ryan maintained media silence since his loss last Tuesday, which was broken for the first time Monday with a series of interviews to local outlets.

Re-elected for the eighth time to the House as southeastern Wisconsin’s congressman, Ryan said he returned home to Janesville Wednesday and just “unplugged”— no watching the news, no giving interviews, just time at home with his family.

If the TV was on at all, it was likely a football game. Ryan also attended his son’s basketball games, his daughter’s volleyball games and went hunting, even helping daughter Liza get her hunter safety certificate.

But after months of campaigning, first for Congress and then for vice president, Ryan gets only a brief reprieve before he and his fellow legislators return to Washington D.C. to start off 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 of the national election results. “But the difference is, this time we need to work.”

With Republicans making up the congressional 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,” said Ryan.

For Ryan’s part, pursuing nationwide tax reform and taking a “hard look” at entitlement programs is the best solution. Ryan confirmed Monday that he will again be the House Budget Committee’s chair in the upcoming session.

Ryan arrived home last Wednesday and returns to Washington Tuesday, one week after the election, to begin work.

But Monday, Ryan sounded somewhat rueful, summing up his feelings on the election by saying, “Well, it didn’t go my way.”

"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.”

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(18) Comments

  1. Relocate
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    Relocate - November 16, 2012 1:55 pm
    Fact is, Joe represents the party you defend. He is what the party is, and treats others with nothing but disrespect. Oh wait, that is the party line. Nevermind...
    Report Abuse
    CJENSEN - November 15, 2012 12:58 pm
    The well-scripted right wing Tea Party Republican agenda of assaulting women’s reproductive rights, privatize social security & medicare and siding with the corporate elite against worker benefits and fair pay is well known....
    Ryan is still at it!!! He has not offered any constructive ideas since his selection as Vice-President. He can only criticize the President.
    How did he make it to Congress is still baffling?
    Let me remind you that Obama not only won the state of Wisconsin, but he won Rock County in Wisconsin by getting 61% of the vote vs. Mitt and Paul who only got 39%. By the way, your home town of Janesville is the County seat for Rock County.
    Funny, I didnt know Janesville and Rock county was considered an "Urban Area"...Thanks Congressman Ryan for showing the world your ignorance, hipocracy and racism...

    Republicans are still up to their failed thinking. Gingritch just admitted he was wrong. Other voices are eating crow in the GOP. Yet Rush & FOX sell their stuff for a profit. Talk about fiscal irresponsibility by those foaming at the mouth.!
  3. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - November 14, 2012 12:55 pm
    It's better off you remain clueless.

  4. An American
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    An American - November 13, 2012 6:37 pm
    Maybe someone can help me understand how Paul Ryan is in favor of the middle class and working people. Ryan wants to kill off Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Veteran benefit to give the revenue to the wealthy. Ryan did nothing to keep auto production in Wisconsin, Janesville or Kenosha. How does Ryan’s budget and work help us in the First District? The people in Janesville and Kenosha must know something that Ryan doesn't. He lost his hometown and Kenosha.
  5. jaminjoesgarage
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    jaminjoesgarage - November 13, 2012 12:28 pm
    Joe was voted for by proxy.
  6. Relocate
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    Relocate - November 13, 2012 9:38 am
    All this coming from the people who voted for Joe Biden. Wonder if the White House will continue to keep him on lock down.

  7. jaminjoesgarage
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    jaminjoesgarage - November 13, 2012 8:00 am
  8. jaminjoesgarage
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    jaminjoesgarage - November 13, 2012 7:56 am
    A nation of sound bites... "moochers," "union dues," "INS," "welfare," "OBAMA caused..."

    You hit most of the Fox News/GOTeabillie talking points in your own rant about sound bite rants. Good for you.
  9. ride2fast4me
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    ride2fast4me - November 13, 2012 1:57 am
    Wow, let's kick a guy when he is down?! If Paul Ryan is guilty of anything, it's for being too specific and aggressive in trying to solve this Nations problems. All I heard from the Left over the election is that Romney/Ryan didn't have a specific plan. You obviously didn't take the time to read the 50+ page PDF or even the Readers Digest version. This has become a Nation of soundbites, moochers, and lazy thinkers. That's why the Obama/Biden BS appealed to the majority, you just had to nod your head, pay your union dues, keep your head down so the INS didn't find you, and collect your welfare. We had a chance to solve some of these problems on our own, now it's probably going to be on someone else's (the Chinese) terms. Just remember that OBAMA caused these issues because the right will be shoving your face in it for the next two decades....
  10. Westsider
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    Westsider - November 12, 2012 10:13 pm
    What Janesville neighbors are saying: "Gosh..look at little Paul Ryan, all grown up and telling such big lies on the big stage and lying with the very best...Mitt Romney." Way to go Paulie...what a dishonest, cynical, and disreputable presidential campaign you were a part of...thank god Romney shelved you there at the end. Hey better luck in four year -you lying psychopath.
  11. Dexter
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    Dexter - November 12, 2012 8:13 pm
    Well now he can go REALLY work in some soup kitchens, and improve his fake marathon time. By the way, nice workout photos LOL. What a joke. FOUR MORE YEARS!!!!
  12. Anonymot
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    Anonymot - November 12, 2012 6:41 pm
    When Romney announced that he'd chosen a male Sarah Palin, it was clear he would lose the election. Ryan was supposed to please the party's extreme right. What was needed was someone bright who would open to the independent voter, women, minorities, and the undecided. The extremists had nowhere else to go, but the Republican party. They sure weren't going to vote Obama. So the decision simultaneously condemned Romneys opening to the center and his vision in making decisions.
  13. Quattrone
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    Quattrone - November 12, 2012 6:31 pm
    LOL Nice play Ryan. Your lack of confidence in your national bid by keeping plan B of getting re-elected to congress paid off.
  14. Carl Nagas
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    Carl Nagas - November 12, 2012 6:20 pm
    "...but I don’t have any regrets whatsoever...”
    "Whether people intended to or not, they re-elected a divided government,” Ryan said of the national election results. “But the difference is, this time we need to work.”

    No regrets about not working during the first seven terms in the House.
    Just seven terms of photo ops in soup kitchens.
    Going on eight, now.
    No regrets.
  15. An American
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    An American - November 12, 2012 5:55 pm
    Yes Paul Ryan won the First District, but not by much. He lost Kenosha, and his home town of Janesville. He only won by a small margin by picking up Waukesha, a strong Republican community. In addition he got his support from southern Wisconsin, but nothing to boast about. Back home in Kenosha and Janesville, Lying Ryan has been exposed for his deception. Those people know that he did what he could to kill Wisconsin auto production, no more GM in Janesville, no more Chrysler in Kenosha, no matter how much Ryan wants to pass blame to US President Obama. Hopefully, Ryan will be taken out in the next election.
  16. granny grits
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    granny grits - November 12, 2012 5:41 pm
    I wonder if he has any regrets about not being able to carry his home town vote?
  17. Zigmond
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    Zigmond - November 12, 2012 4:45 pm
    One thing that is for sure is that Barry's war on jobs will continue.

    6,125 Proposed Regulations and Notifications Posted in Last 90 Days--Average 68 per Day. That was before he was a lame duck, imagine when he is unleashed. God help the USA.

  18. jaminjoesgarage
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    jaminjoesgarage - November 12, 2012 4:12 pm
    I thought it was just a chill in the air.
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