Yesterday, Speaker Ryan delivered an address on the state of American politics to group of House interns from both sides of the aisle. He argued that politics must be about uniting people around principles and specific ideas—not impugning motives and playing to anxieties and fear. This is why House Republicans are working on a bold, conservative agenda to restore a Confident America and give the American people a clear choice in 2016.
Check out some more clips recapping the speech below:
“This sunny message from Ryan is hardly new. He’s been delivering shining city-on-a-hill speeches and accompanying policy papers for some time. It started out with his budget a half-dozen years ago. Now, it’s his ‘Confident America’ push, a policy program aimed at giving the House Republicans a new identity. In the spring, Ryan hopes to release a detailed agenda so the voters can compare and contrast the Republican and Democratic parties.” (POLITICO)
“Ryan’s 15-minute address—he took questions afterward—was a high-minded speech from a high-minded speaker. He spoke eloquently and optimistically about why he got into public service, the nation’s founding ideals, his mentor Jack Kemp, and ‘what politics can be.’” (The Atlantic)
“Speaking to a millennial audience, the generation of Americans that puts a special value on authenticity; Ryan admitted he was not always correct in his views. . . . But Ryan, who took over as speaker in November, clearly sought to not only inspire the young people who were in attendance Wednesday but also to promote his brand of Republican politics for the future.” (NBC News)
“Ryan called for elevating the national political discourse in a year when the Republican presidential campaign fight has often descended into bitter personal feuds. . . . He has sought to position House Republicans—and himself—above the fray of the presidential campaign, saying the chamber should instead focus on advancing bold policy proposals.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Ryan is the ideal of the Republican ‘happy warrior’ in Congress. He is friendly and well-liked on Capitol Hill, despite policy differences, and has always been happier talking budget numbers and intricate federal policy than politics.” (Vice News).
“Trying to distinguish House Republicans from the politics of the presidential race, Ryan is driving an effort in the House to unveil a policy agenda later this year that will provide a platform for his members to run on in November.” (NPR)
“Ryan told the audience of college-aged interns for various House of Representatives offices that his father used to tell him, ‘if you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem.’ Then he outlined what he believes America can be. . . .But Ryan cautioned against the angry dialogue currently seen in America politics by saying that individuals with opposing views should not be shunned or hated.” (IJ Review)
“Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday denounced the ‘ugliness’ of a 2016 presidential race marked by personal insults and violent protests and called on candidates to elevate their campaign rhetoric. . . . The 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee instead traded the doom-and-gloom rhetoric from the campaign trail for a more inspirational, upbeat message, arguing that politics can unite people and be a force for good.” (The Hill)
“[H]e’s tried to lead by example on civility, acknowledging his own failings Wednesday. He said he used to deride those stuck in the cycle of poverty as “takers,” who were a drain on the government. But he said after talking with some of those in that position, he realized many of them are trying to raise themselves out of the cycle, but feel trapped.” (Washington Times)