Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Paul Ryan and his team abruptly cut off a local news interviewer, Terry Camp of Michigan's WJRT, near the end of the short clip posted below -- but you don't even have to get to that point to see Ryan's frat-jock testiness and arrogance in action. Watch Ryan's reaction, at about :07, when Camp dares to press Mr. Big Man on Campus on a question:
CAMP: Does America have a gun problem?

RYAN: America has a crime problem.

CAMP: Not a gun problem?
Anything offensive about that? Anything rude? No. It's just a reporter being persistent. But watch Ryan's way of saying "No":

That's not "No" -- it's "No -- didn't you hear me the first time, you brain-dead idiot?"

Ryan gets it under control, goes back to acting like an adult answering a question in what seems to be an adult way. He seems calm doing a canned response -- and then Camp does throw him a curve, but it's a curve a guy playing at a big-league level should know how to hit:
"The best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity in the inner cities," Ryan said. "Is to help teach people good discipline, good character. That is civil society. That is what charities and civic groups and churches do to help one another make sure that they can realize the value in one another."

"And you can do all that by cutting taxes?" the interviewer asked. "With a big tax cut?"

"Those are your words not mine," Ryan replied.
"Those are your words not mine": the barely contained rage on those words, the arrogant thrust of the chin -- the guy Ryan is going to debate on Thursday night is known for slips of the tongue and moments of florid emotionalism, but he's not someone who looks as if he wants to get in a bar fight with you.

Ryan in this clip, looks as if he wants to get in a bar fight with Camp.

An aide, off camera, abruptly interrupts the interview. The campaign has since said that the interview was running late. But Ryan can't let it go -- he's calmer now, but he's still pissed:
To the interviewer, he remarked, "That was kinda strange, you trying to stuff words in people's mouths?"
So now we know that it's absurdly easy to get under Paul Ryan's skin and make him lose control. Have you watched this, Mr. Vice President?


Danp said...

Ryan is just the latest poser in the Republican parade. They all have trouble when confronted by facts or asked for logical consistency. But his handlers know that in a debate, the only thing that matters is demeanor. His handlers will explain, "the audience doesn't understand the words. Just laugh and accuse the moderator (or Biden) of twisting your words or making up facts. Or better yet, scold him and tell him it's much too complicated for him to understand." That's how you win debates.

Victor said...

In all fairness, when you're used to interviews in an echo chamber, a new voice may startle you.

This guy's so used to pats on the back and shoulders, that I'm amazed he's not wearing a Kevlar vest and shoulder pads.

tonycpsu said...

The most shocking part of that clip to me is where Ryan says "I don't even think President Obama is proposing new gun laws." This is obviously true, but I though the game plan was to run against Obama as if he were personally going door-to-door rounding up everyone's guns and ammo.

Isn't admitting that Obama's done nothing on gun control a significant off-message moment for the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver (tm)? If that's all it takes to get Ryan off his game, Biden's going to eat his lunch.

BH said...

Maybe it's just sympathy for a guy who catches lots of ridicule from people for whom I have little/no respect (any given GOPer or TV talking head), but I've always thought Biden has been underestimated. That judicial genius Robert Bork certainly did so, to his complete undoing. I think Paulie may as well. I wouldn't be surprised if Joe had a field day with him.