Tags: Paul Ryan | ryan | video | frank underwood | plot | chuck todd | house of cards

Chuck Todd: Ryan 'Unity' Video Shows 'Frank Underwoodesque' Plot

Speaker Paul Ryan/YouTube

By    |   Friday, 08 Apr 2016 01:49 PM

House Speaker Paul Ryan has continued to deny that he's interested in becoming the Republican presidential nominee, but a video on his website extolling the virtues of a united party is making people believe he's more open to the idea than he wants to admit, leading NBC's Chuck Todd to label him as being "Frank Underwoodesque."

In the video, under a page simply titled "Politics These Days," the speaker notes that Americans are "sick and tired of hearing politicians battle over insults rather than ideas."

"What really bothers me the most about politics these days is this notion of identity politics: that we're going to win an election by dividing people, rather than inspiring people on our common humanity and our common ideals and our common culture on the things that should unify us."

Paul says in the video. "We all want to be prosperous. We all want to be healthy. We want everybody to succeed. We want people to reach their potential in their lives. "

"Now, liberals and conservatives are going to disagree with one another on that," he continues. "No problem. That's what this is all about. So let's have a battle of ideas. Let's have a contest of whose ideas are better and why our ideas are better."

And while Paul said in the video that its message is to spotlight House Republicans' work, there are many who disagree, including NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell and
Todd, who moderates NBC's "Meet the Press," with both saying they think the video casts doubts on his denials.

"So how sure are we that Paul Ryan is not interested in the Republican nomination?" Mitchell said on her noon show on MSNBC. "Wouldn't take it if it's authored? We get mixed signals from the Speaker of the House... that's a pretty snazzy video."

Todd agreed, and said he's sure Ryan's people are trying to say the video has more to do with his being the GOP's national leader.

"But think about it. Let's think about the speakers we've covered over the last two decades," said Todd. "Paul Ryan is making an attempt to say, 'yes, I will be the face of the Republican Party. I am comfortable doing that. Here is my message, and I want to sell it.'"

But, pointed out Todd, former House Speakers John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi never tried to set themselves up as national leaders, even though Newt Gingrich "did in a way."

"Even Tip O'Neill didn't do it in this way," said Todd. "Really, not since Newt have we had a speaker that wants to be a national figure and accept the idea they're a national figure, just not in title alone. "

And, said Todd, Ryan was the compromise choice for House Speaker.

He further compared the situation to the Netflix political thriller "House of Cards."

"It is sort of 'Frank Underwoodesque,'" said Todd. "Doesn't want to do it. All of the sudden, he is. And then doesn't want to be nominee, all of the sudden? And I thought the "House of Cards" plot line was absurd and apparently, you can get these positions without running for them in the modern era. But the fact is, Ryan, does it come to a point where it's too much? Where it looks like he's campaigning for it by not campaigning for it? 'No, I don't want to be it, but hey, check out this snazzy video about how I'd bring the country together.'"

Ryan's camp, though, came out on Twitter to deny the speculation after The Drudge Report posted a link on its website to Ryan's video from a headline "Paul Launches First Campaign Ad?" 
 
Ryan's press secretary AshLee Strong responded simply "No" to Drudge's Tweet about the item:



And Ryan's communications director Mike Ricci thanked Drudge for the mention:


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House Speaker Paul Ryan has continued to deny that he's interested in becoming the Republican presidential nominee, but a video on his website extolling the virtues of a united party is making people believe he's more open to the idea than he wants to admit, leading...
ryan, video, frank underwood, plot, chuck todd, house of cards
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Friday, 08 Apr 2016 01:49 PM
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