Exclusive: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)- the Amtrak 188 crash, Jeb Bush, and ABC News’ Stephanpoulos scandal
Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), joined senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar to discuss any alliance with President Obama’s trade proposal, his take on Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush’s campaign methods and the George Stephanopoulos scandal.
Video and text highlights and a full transcript of the discussion are below
MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”
Paul Ryan on Jeb Bush: You’re going to stumble
Paul Ryan: Stephanopoulos is ‘far more biased’
On Hillary Clinton taking a stance on the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” trade bill
“I think she’s just being more political and worried about her political base. I would assume she’s in favor of it, given her past comments, given her role. But my guess is she’s worried more about her Democratic primary politics.”
On Jeb Bush and his political misstep on whether he would go to war in Iraq this week
“Every candidate’s going to have this problem, Hillary Clinton’s — there are going to be 1,000 of these moments going forward. I watched that tape; I actually think Jeb misheard the question. I don’t think he heard the question correctly and therefore his answer was as it was. Look, we all know — I was here when we voted for Iraq –.”
On whether ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos is biased
“You’re asking a conservative if a well-known liberal is going to be unbiased… I think he has been far more biased on the left side of things over the past. I think the way he conducted the debates with Republicans I think revealed a bias. Look, I got no issues with George. He’s a nice guy. But you know, he has — everybody has political views… I’ve been on his show plenty of times. And, look, I’m used to that. But the way I would look at this situation is he just basically revealed that he is who he was and you know, and is that person. Most people, most conservatives expect this. But I think he probably should have used — exercised better judgment because he is supposed to be objective. And at least appear to be objective and this clearly doesn’t help him do that.”
Full interview below:
FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Congressman Paul Ryan joining me now to talk about this move on trade in Congress. And Chairman Ryan, we see the shift now moving from the Senate to the House. You are in favor of this authority for President Obama in this trade push but a number of your Republicans are not. Do you have the votes you need now?
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE: We will have the votes. We’re doing very well. We’re gaining a lot of steam and momentum. There’s a misnomer. It’s really not granting the president authority; it’s actually Congress asserting its prerogatives, its authority in how trade agreements are done.
KEILAR: Your position is that there are a number of parameters that President Obama will have to adhere to as he uses this quote-unquote “fast-track authority” to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But you have critics, like Elizabeth Warren, like labor unions, and they say that really that some of the parameters are toothless. They look at other trade agreements like NAFTA and they say there aren’t any sanctions or fines that are put in place when you’re talking about labor violations by other countries that are parts of these trade agreements. What do you say — ?
RYAN: — that was — these are old trade agreements from last century; this is different in that this requires other countries to come up to our standards. What Labor’s concerned about are labor standards. And after they were not inside the trade agreement. They were side agreements. The — they are inside the trade agreements in this particular case. So we have 150 guidelines that are required to be in any trade agreement, to basically bring other countries up to American standards and if they don’t meet those standards, we have ways of getting our disputes resolved so that we can hold them to account.
The key thing is this: are these countries that we want to trade with going to open their markets to our products just like we already now open to theirs? That’s question one.
Question two, will they come and work in American standards versus China trying to write the rules, which degrades the standards of trade. And so that’s really what’s happening here.
The other part is they’re going to be 3.2 billion people in the middle class in Asia by the year 2030. It’s an enormous market for America and if we want more jobs and better wages, you have to trade So we have tough teeth in these agreements that TPA requires.
KEILAR: Do you find it ironic, I wonder, that you have critics here, Democrats, claiming that President Obama is overreaching or this will give him authority to overreach. That’s a criticism you have made of him — of him, and yet here you are —
RYAN: I know.
KEILAR: — a very prominent Republican —
RYAN: I ran against him in the last election.
KEILAR: — and you are paddling in the same both with President Obama. You must commiserate perhaps with that criticism of overreach.
RYAN: What I would say is every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has had this ability. There’s no way we’re going to be able to get other countries to give us their best offer and a good trade agreement if after getting that agreement we can just take it back to Congress and rewrite the whole thing.
KEILAR: Hillary Clinton has not taken a position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership on this trade fight, even though as secretary of state she did. What do you make of that?
RYAN: I think she’s just being more political and worried about her political base. I would assume she’s in favor of it, given her past comments, given her role. But my guess is she’s worried more about her Democratic primary politics.
KEILAR: I want to ask you about Jeb Bush because I want your perspective as the former vice presidential candidate for Republicans, who has really withstood the glare that really is unlike no other, the political spotlight. He really stumbled this week when it came to answering questions about Iraq.
That’s a question that seems so obvious that he would have been asked about. I mean, when you were made the candidate, you knew you were going to be asked about your budget. Are you surprised by his stumble and also what advice might you give him and other candidates?
RYAN: Every candidate’s going to have this problem, Hillary Clinton’s — there are going to be 1,000 of these moments going forward. I watched that tape; I actually think Jeb misheard the question. I don’t think he heard the question correctly and therefore his answer was as it was.
Look, we all know — I was here when we voted for Iraq —
KEILAR: Even if he did mishear it, he had a few times to try to fix it. And it took him some time. So knowing that spotlight, what’s your advice and also — and he could also maybe — he’s been giving a lot of media availabilities. There’s also maybe a risk in censoring one’s self —
RYAN: — that’s an interesting point. So watch the Clinton campaign where they don’t do any media availabilities. The Bush campaign and Scott Walker, who’s my governor or Marco Rubio or all the other Republican candidates, who are doing a lot of media availabilities. I would err on the side of doing more media. I would err on the side of more transparency. I would err on the side of being just authentic and sincere and who you are. You’re going to stumble. You’re going to gaffe. The media, that’s what they — and no offense, but the media tries to get you to gaffe. They try to get you to stumble, to test your wares. And it’s good for candidates to go through that process. I was so much better at the end of the process than I was at the beginning of the process because the media is testing your mettle and that’s what we should do of our presidential candidates.
So you know, let it go; people are going to make their mistakes. I think Jeb Bush made a pretty good clarification on what it was.
KEILAR: George Stephanopoulos, I want to ask you about him. He’s under fire. ABC News anchor, very well respected. And it turns out he has donated over the last three years $75,000 to the Clinton administration.
He often engages in some fiery exchanges with politicians, including yourself.
KEILAR: Do you have faith that he will ask just as tough questions of Democrats, of Hillary Clinton? He has recused himself of mediating a GOP debate. But is that enough? Because he will continue to cover 2016.
RYAN: You’re asking a conservative if a well-known liberal is going to be unbiased. That’s not a —
KEILAR: But you’ve had a lot of —
RYAN: — I’ve known him a long time.
KEILAR: You consider him unfair?
RYAN: I think he has been far more biased on the left side of things over the past. I think the way he conducted the debates with Republicans I think revealed a bias.
Look, I got no issues with George. He’s a nice guy. But you know, he has — everybody has political views.
KEILAR: — his show.
RYAN: I’ve been on his show plenty of times. And, look, I’m used to that. But the way I would look at this situation is he just basically revealed that he is who he was and you know, and is that person. Most people, most conservatives expect this. But I think he probably should have used — exercised better judgment because he is supposed to be objective. And at least appear to be objective and this clearly doesn’t help him do that.
KEILAR: On Amtrak, funding has decreased over the last years for Amtrak. Do you think in light of this recent crash where the NTSB has said that positive train control, this ability using GPS to slow a train if it becomes out of control, if there’s some emergency with a conductor, that this could have prevented this crash?
RYAN: Let me just say this. To suggest and insinuate that this tragedy could have been avoided or would have been avoided had Congress had some more spending or had Congress had a different budget, I think is just — it’s the wrong suggestion to make. And that should not be in this conversation.
Congressman Paul Ryan, thanks so much for coming in.
RYAN: Thanks, Brianna.
### END INTERVIEW ###