Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

The Monitor Breakfast

Paul Ryan: GOP primary should not be 'personality contest' (+video)

Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin said Thursday that the GOP needs an election that carries a mandate. In Ryan's view, Mitt Romney has offered a positive agenda for fixing the nation.

By Dave Cookstaff writer / February 16, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin speaks at a Monitor-hosted breakfast for reporters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor



House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin said that given the nation’s tough fiscal situation presidential candidate Mitt Romney should offer voters a “positive agenda” for how to fix the nation’s problems – and that Mr. Romney has done just that.

Skip to next paragraph
Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin speaks at a Monitor-hosted breakfast for reporters in Washington, D.C., February 16.

Speaking at a Monitor-hosted breakfast for reporters Thursday, Representative Ryan said, “We just can’t have an ordinary election where it is a personality contest and then you win by default and don’t have a mandate. We need to have an election with a mandate so we can actually fix these problems.”

Ryan, one of most influential Republicans in the US House of Representatives, charged that in 2008 President Obama ran, “what I would say was a vague platitude campaign – hope and change. And then he gave us all stuff he did with the Pelosi Congress.”

In Ryan’s view, Romney “is stepping into the groove” of offering voters a concrete, positive agenda for fixing the nation. Ryan cited Romney’s speech on Feb. 10 to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where the former Massachusetts governor talked about his conservative bona fides saying, "I know conservatism because I have lived conservatism," adding that he  "fought against long odds in a deep blue state." 

Ryan also cited a Romney speech about entitlements delivered Dec. 20 in New Hampshire where offered a contrast between an “entitlement society” versus his preferred “opportunity society.”

Speeches outlining detailed plans are important, Ryan said, because, “you’ve got to prepare the country” for the specifics of what you intend to do if elected. If you withhold information because you don't want to take the risk of speaking boldly, “you win the wrong kind of victory,” he said.

Get daily or weekly updates from delivered to your inbox. Sign up today.


Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story
The Monitor Breakfast on

Subscribe for full video access to one of Washington's premier forums

  • Full-length Breakfast videos
  • Access to the video archives
  • E-mail alerts after every Breakfast event

Sign up for:

Sign up for full video access

Already a subscriber?


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!