Ryan blames 2012 US Republican loss on poor communication, turnout

Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:54pm EST

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* Ryan ends self-imposed public silence on election

* Again focused on his job as budget-cutting House chairman

By Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Ending a self-imposed silence about the November election, 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said on Wednesday that he and presidential running mate Mitt Romney lost not because of ideas, but due to ineffective communication.

Ryan said Democratic President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden also prevailed because they did a better job with "technology and (voter) turnout."

"We have to learn that," said Ryan, chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. "We have to fix that."

Ryan made the comments at a breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Wall Street Journal as the eight-term Republican ended his silence and spoke out.

Romney and Ryan kept low-profiles after the November elections, figuring they would surrender center stage to the victors, Obama and Biden.

Ryan had spoken with the media in his home state of Wisconsin, but stayed away from the national press until Obama and Biden were sworn in for second terms this week.

At Monday's inauguration ceremony, Ryan sat with fellow lawmakers near Obama and Biden outside the U.S. Capitol.

While watching Obama take the oath, Ryan said he thought about what he and Romney could have done if they won and implemented their conservative agenda.

But Ryan said he is now looking ahead, focusing on his job as Budget Committee chairman where he is again helping to lead a Republican charge to cut spending.

Romney, who has generally remained out of public view since the election, did not attend the inauguration and has not indicated what he plans to do next.

"I think it is going to be whatever he wants," said Ryan, adding that they stay in touch via email and plan to have lunch together in the coming days.

Since Romney does not intend to run for public office again, Ryan said "it puts him in a unique position to be a leader of our party, to weigh in on big issues."

Obama has stated that he and Biden won re-election because voters agreed with their priorities, like raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans to help reduce U.S. deficits.

Asked what voters were saying to Republicans on Election Day, Ryan suggested that they did not understand what his party was about.

"We have to do a better job of explaining and demonstrating why our ideas are better" on such issues as fighting poverty and helping people move up "the ladder of life," Ryan said.

"There are a lot of people who just don't think or know that we have good ideas on these fronts," Ryan said.

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Comments (4)
TannedMan wrote:
GOP ideas were clearly stated. GOP lost because the ideas did not resonate with the majority of the voters. GOP Campaign and VP choice guaranteed Obama reelection.

Jan 23, 2013 5:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
BOOWAH wrote:
Oh, they got their message across alright! All they told the voters was that they intended to take away many things that they relied on for years!They assumed that the voters would blindly fall in line after their Gerrymandering and voter suppression! People are smarter today. They don’t want a party that tells them that their leaders will decide what’s good for them. That and all the moronic Republican comments that defied the laws of nature. Now, instead of changing their philosophy, they want to Gerrymander the next Presidential election by abolishing the Electoral College! What’s next? Shooting us as we go to the polls?

Jan 23, 2013 5:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Data_Jack wrote:
Ryan lost because Americans preferred, by a large margin, the Obama/Biden team. And it’s a good thing, too. Our fragile economy couldn’t have withstood another mismanagement by the GOP.

Jan 23, 2013 5:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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