* Ryan ends self-imposed public silence on election
* Again focused on his job as budget-cutting House chairman
By Thomas Ferraro
WASHINGTON, Jan 23 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
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
"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.