House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said Hillary Clinton would make a formidable Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, but is "beatable."
The Wisconsin Republican, who was the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2012, told USA Today
that the GOP could defeat the former secretary of state because she’s linked to President Barack Obama.
"She will be very formidable," he told the newspaper's Susan Page during an interview in his hometown of Janesville. "Look at the name, the Clinton name, the ability to fund raise. I think she’s going to be very formidable, but beatable though. I don't think people are going to want to have an Obama third term, and no matter how she tries to shake that label, she won't be able to."
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Ryan said that Clinton would face issues tied to Obama’s domestic policies that he and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney were not able to capitalize on in 2012 because they had not yet gone into effect.
"The challenge Mitt and I had was, we sort of felt like we were shadow-boxing with big government in theory, because all of the things that the president passed hadn't become effective yet," Ryan said, referring specifically to Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law.
"Well, now it's 2014 and the rubber has hit the road, and the results look nothing like the rhetoric that was used to sell it. So they have a harder case to make because we see big government in action."
Ryan, a potential GOP candidate in 2016, also attacked Clinton’s "abysmal" foreign policy record, pointing to her positions on Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
"I'm thinking about the foreign policy that was created in the first four years of the Obama administration that now have manifested in the second term, and we're now seeing as a result of this foreign policy America losing its standing in the world and Americans becoming less prosperous and less secure as a result of that," he said.
Ryan said the 2016 election shows early signs of being similar to the time when American replaced an unpopular Jimmy Carter with a well-liked conservative candidate.
"Ronald Reagan beat Carter with the exact same kind of dynamic," Ryan told USA Today's Page, the newspaper's Washington bureau chief. "I see the chance in the making for another 1980-like election."
Clinton has not confirmed that she will run for the presidential Democratic nomination in 2016, while Ryan said on CBS on Sunday
that he’s still mulling over a possible bid for the GOP nod.
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