Ryan: Clinton Presidency Would Have 'Fixed Fiscal Mess By Now'


I assume Rep. Paul Ryan was talking about Bill Clinton during this interview on Meet the Press, and not endorsing Hillary for 2016, since Erskine Bowles was Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff, but this is pretty rich coming from someone who helped to derail the Simpson-Bowles plan when he was a member of that commission.

You also gotta love Republicans praising Bill Clinton (the man their party impeached while he was in office and that they treated with about as much disdain as the current resident of the White House) as some great bipartisan savior with whom they're all enamored now.

I'm sure they do love some of the actual bipartisanship we got from Clinton, like bad trade deals and banking deregulation, but to pretend that this modern-day Republican party would be acting any better if we had a Clinton in office is laughable.

GREGORY: It was interesting, on the day of the inauguration Brian Williams and I and others were talking and we noticed some video during the luncheon after the inauguration. And one of the things that caught our eye was a great moment here, you have your back to us, but there are you and you're speaking. You're with Secretary Clinton but also President Clinton. And that's just one of those moments where you say, "Gosh, what were they talking about?" Any advice there coming from --


RYAN: We were talking about personal health. Both of us lost our dads when we were young and we were just talking. I got concussions when I was young and Hillary was talking about hers. And we were just kind of chumming it up. Look, if we had a Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles, Chief Staff of the White House or president of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now. That's not the kind of presidency we're dealing with right now.

GREGORY: And you don't blame conservatives, particularly in the House--

RYAN: Everybody. Look both--

GREGORY: --for thwarting the effort?

RYAN: Both parties. Forget about just the recent past. Both parties got us to the mess we are in, this fiscal crisis. Republicans and Democrats. And you know what? It's going to take both parties to solve this problem. That's the kind of leadership we need today.

GREGORY: So how do you think about 2016 and a presidential run?

PAUL RYAN: I don't.

GREGORY: You don't. You're not thinking about it now?

RYAN: I think it's just premature. I've got an important job to do. I represent Wisconsin. I'm chairman of the budget committee at the time we have a fiscal crisis. I think I can do my job representing the people I work for by focusing on that right now than focusing on these distant things.

GREGORY: But you'll take serious look at it?

RYAN: I'll decide later about that. Right now I'm just focused on this.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.