Most of the time, interviews with candidates for political offices are dry and dull, full of sound bites aimed directly at voters. That wasn’t the case yesterday, however, when a reporter from a Mich. ABC affiliate interviewed Paul Ryan.
Ryan, Mitt Romney’s GOP running mate, was talking with a reporter from ABC 12 in Flint, Mich. when the reporter asked Ryan if the United States had a gun problem. Ryan’s response, that the U.S. had a “crime problem”, apparently wasn’t the answer the reporter wanted to hear. He pressed Ryan on the gun problem issue, and the two began arguing briefly over gun laws before Ryan finished his response. “We have lots of laws that aren’t being properly enforced. We need to make sure we enforce these laws.”
He also said the solution to inner city crime was getting citizens out of poverty and teaching them discipline and character through charities, churches, and civic groups.
The reporter shot back with a comment that tied these issues to tax cuts. “And you can do all that by cutting taxes?” This prompted Ryan to say “Those are your words, not mine,” and prompting an off-camera voice presumably from the Romney campaign to end the interview.
Before the video footage ended, though, Ryan could be heard speaking as he removed his microphone. “That was kind of strange. You trying to stuff words in people’s mouths?”
A Ryan spokesman denied that the interview had been cut short, saying that in fact the interview was running long before the reporter asked his question on tax cuts. He also attempted to deflect any criticism that might arise from how Ryan handled the situation.
“Ryan responded as anyone would in such a strange situation. When you do nearly 200 interviews in a couple months, eventually you’re going to see a local reporter embarrass himself.”
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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