- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 24, 2014

Rep. Paul Ryan said the notion that the House could have unilaterally stopped Obamacare through a government shutdown last year was not a plausible idea to sell the country on.

The Wisconsin Republican was addressing a passage from his new book on CBS’s “Face the Nation” in which he described last year’s push toward a government shutdown — in which House conservatives unsuccessfully tried to defund Obamacare — as a “suicide mission.”

The purpose of the passage in the book is to try to unify the party, he said, noting that he held back a bit more at the time with party unity in mind.

“I don’t think we can succeed if all we do is criticize and define what we’re against,” he said. “The whole point of that was you can’t actually stop an entitlement with a government shutdown. Entitlements, like Medicare, Social Security and Obamacare, continue on as is, so I didn’t really think it was legitimate to tell the country we could stop it unilaterally in the House, point one.

“Point two, the purpose of this book is to show the country that we have better ideas,” he continued. “We need to define ourselves as what we are in favor of just as much as what we’re opposed to.”

Mr. Ryan is in the midst of promoting his book, titled “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea.”

The 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee said there was a host of reasons why he and presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost and that he’ll be making a decision on his own political future sometime next year.

Though Mr. Romney has repeatedly ruled out a third run at the presidency, Mr. Ryan said that he wishes his former running mate would run.

“I wish everybody could see the guy I know,” he said. “But he keeps saying that he’s not going to run.”

Mr. Ryan laughed when asked if he would support Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas or Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky for the 2016 presidential nomination, but then he said he would support either man as the eventual Republican nominee.

“I think there are going to be a lot of other people in this race,” he said. “And what I’m trying to articulate with this book is a kind of conservatism inspired by my mentor Jack Kemp [and] people like Ronald Reagan that’s inclusive, that’s aspirational, that’s principled, that also has a strong national defense and a foreign policy that keeps us prosperous and secure.

“I have differences with different people in the party, but that’s OK,” he continued. “I want to have a big Republican Party with a big tent that gives the country a better future that can win the majority of votes in this country.”

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