Ryan: I Had ‘A Very Frank Conversation’ With Obama Over Lunch

Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013 10:52 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said on Tuesday that he had “a very frank conversation” with President Barack Obama when they had lunch at the White House last week.

“I told him exactly what I thought. Absolutely,” Ryan told Fox’s Sean Hannity, without disclosing specifics. “This is the first time I’ve ever had a conversation lasting more than two minutes with him. I’ve never had a lengthy conversation with him until this moment.

“I just thought, for the sake of, at least, starting a relationship — if that’s what we’re doing — candor is the best way to go,” Ryan added. “I told him precisely what I thought. I told him precisely what I thought of the rhetoric, of the policies — and why it is we’re doing what we’re doing.”

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Obama also joining the lunch was Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee that Ryan chairs. The lunch was part of an effort by the president to reach out to more moderate Republicans.

In fact, the president met with 12 other moderate members of the GOP last week over dinner at the Jefferson Hotel not far from the White House.

When Hannity asked whether President Obama seemed receptive to Ryan’s comments, the 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate responded: “Well, at least, he understands my perspective. At least, he understands why we’re doing what we’re doing and why we proposed these policies.

“And he gave me his side of the story, as well, so we had a candid and frank exchange,” Ryan said.


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