tv Outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan on Career Legacy CSPAN November 29, 2018 9:01pm-9:46pm EST
we're used to in wisconsin, i'm the only one who has done that i appreciate the indulgence of the people i work for who indulge the fact that i had other responsibilities in addition and when i took on these adegreesal responsibility the people of our staff really stepped up. and really helped serve our constituents so that they continue to enjoy those flawless constituent services. i am just so grateful for these people in my life, i'm so grateful that they were able to serve the people of southern wisconsin so well. and i am absolutely grateful to the people of southern wisconsin for entrusting me as their representative. thank you and i yield. announcer 1: house speaker paul
ryan sat down with mr. kane. russiacial counsel's investigation, the 2018 midterm elections. speaker ryan will retire from congress in january. [applause] [speaking simultaneously] mr. kane: good morning, everyone. fred gave an amazing introduction as always. i will add a few other things for data details. paul ryan is the 54th speaker of the house, led the house for more than three years. and in a couple of weeks he'll step down. we're delighted to have him here at "the washington post" for what would be one of his final interviews as house speaker. before we begin, we would like to let the audience know you can treat some questions at us -- tweet some questions at us using 202live --
#202live. if someone in the crowd doesn't know, explain -- is this going to be a permanent thing? it usually isn't, so i have it through the end of december. i'll see if i can get away with it but i'm not sure i'll be allowed to do that. mr. kane: ok. some guys go into retirement, but -- mr. ryan: i am not sure i will be allowed to do that. mr. kane: ok. up on capitol hill right now, the incoming speaker to be, nancy pelosi is battling an ideological flank in her caucus, you are laughing already. she's not sure she'll get 218 votes. sound familiar? mr. ryan: yeah i saw her last , night, we did a churchill thing together, it was winston churchill's 144th birthday. we do this sort of ceremony in
the capital. nancy and i did that together. i congratulated her on the caucus vote and offered my condolences. so -- mr. kane: [laughter] mr. ryan: yeah, it does sound familiar. it's a function of politics to me. mr. kane: do you think the democrats will go through the similar growing pains of being in the majority, the same way john boehner and yourself for eight years seemed to constantly have this -- mr. ryan: yes, i do. i do. i do. i'm not going to get into speculating floor votes and things like that, but already you can see, the reason i am speaker is because my predecessor, john boehner, went through all of that.
the internet can allow a person to become a celebrity petty -- pretty quickly by being an entertaining figure. and those incentive structures are in place for both parties, for anybody. mr. kane: they say -- democrats often say they're the party that actually looked loves governing -- actually loves governing though. they don't like that blow things up, and that's a republican instinct that the tea party are more inclined to blow up government. do you disagree with that? mr. ryan: i think i do now. i could see that case being made a decade or two ago, but i don't think that that's necessarily the case. take a look at our session we're completing. we will have passed over 1000 bills out of the house. you haven't seen a pace like that since the early 1980's. so -- and by the way, over 80% of the bills are bipartisan bills. didn't get a lot of play, but that's what i would call governing. for the first time in 22 years, 75% of all discretionary
spending is done, it's passed, it's in law, it's on time. you know these things. so i would say we, we became a pretty good governing party. we lost a midterm election, those things happen. but i think we have become a pretty good governing party. and they are going to have the same growing pains we had. they'll have the same political ug and pull in different directions than what we had. mr. kane: we have to ask this question, the "washington post," we're the hometown paper for the federal work force. mr. ryan: shutdown. mr. kane: yeah. you funded 75% of the government, not 100%. the president seems to be adamant in trying to force this showdown over the border wall, $5 billion. what's going to happen? mr. ryan: well, first of all, border security is very important. it really is important. it's important if only to stop the flow of fentanyl and heroin coming into our schools.
it's important because of the lawlessness at the border. so that's -- i know people want to just say it's about trump and the wall. it really is more than that. it's about whether or not we are in control of our borders or not. and there are a lot of national security implications with that. so this we do take as a very serious issue. there is border wall funding in place. the question is do we have enough to make the kind of progress we want to make in securing the border, and that's where we believe, within the spending caps, more resources are needed, and those debates -- that is going on right now. directional be, -- frelinghuysen and shelby and their couldn't -- their counterparts are negotiating right now. our hope is to get a successful conclusion. at the end they have day, the senate has 60 votes on this stuff, the white house and the senate democrats in particular are going to have to find common ground in order to get an appropriation bill that we can agree to and move. mr. kane: but trump seems to want this shutdown. his trump -- mr. ryan: i don't think that's the case. wants the wall, he wants border
-- trump wants the wall, he wants border security, he doesn't want the shutdown he wants border security. mr. kane: he called with our good friend jake sherman the other day in an interview, he said that issue is a total winner. he believes that it is a winner for him both in terms of the border wall, immigration, and if there's a shutdown, he believes he can win. and that seems to indicate to a lot of us he sort of wants one. mr. ryan: we met with him in the oval a couple of days ago. he thinks the issue of border security is a winner. i don't know -- i don't know what he said to jake, i don't think he sees a shutdown as a winner. i think he sees border security as a winner. i see it as the right thing to do because it is necessary for lots of reasons. we don't want a shutdown. there is no -- i have no interest in doing that. it makes no sense. i would like to see progress on border security, which by the way, back in what was it, 2006? i can't -- we passed the secure fence act, and you know chuck
, schumer, hillary clinton and everybody else voted for that. i voted for that. this used to be a bipartisan issue. it has all of a sudden become partisan for ridiculous reasons in my opinion. and it should be bipartisan, securing our border. mr. kane: were you a staffer in 1995, 1996 in the shutdowns? mr. ryan: i was. mr. kane: were you sent home? mr. ryan: i don't remember. let's see. i was -- i was ld back in those days. i think we did send a bunch of people home. i was not. mr. kane: do you ever think, it was early october, 2015, boehner had already sort of dropped the mic and said he was going to leave. your friend kevin mccarthy was going to be the speaker, it seemed. do you ever think what would have happened if instead of what mccarthy falling short, if you had just sort of stayed at ways and means? mr. kane: yeah, -- mr. ryan: yeah i've certainly , thought about it.
i was going to give a nominating speech to the conference, and he called me 10 minutes before the conference and said, you know, i don't have the votes, i'm going to nominate you. i said the hell you are. excuse me. so, and -- mr. kane: it's ok. [speaking simultaneously] mr. ryan: i really didn't want to do the job. i loved, i always wanted to be ways and means chair. that's why i never ran for the senate, i wanted to be ways and means chair because of the issues i cared about. i loved where i was. i'm not a hyper ambitious guy, i really actually am not. i just wanted to go to ways and means. and i went home. we have one-week recess, and the pressure kind of mounted, and then it became clear to me that out of a sense of duty i needed to do it. and what i liked about the moment was i could do it on my terms. and this is the benefit nancy does not now have, and i think it's regretful. i got to go and be speaker on entirely my terms. and our members knew i didn't need it, didn't necessarily want it, but was happy to do it joyfully and happily, and i'm
really glad i did. i feel very -- i'm happy i did this. but i got to go into it in a situation where i didn't have to conditionalize it on anybody else's conditions but my own. and that was a great benefit to me, huge benefit to me. mr. kane: do you think, then, she's undercut some of her own power? mr. ryan: i think she would regret that. mr. kane: she's making deals and giving out. mr. ryan: it's not my job, i don't want to undercut or mess with her. i understand what she's going into. but it was an extreme benefit to me with the various caucuses and conferences and factions we had that i didn't need to do it and if they pushed me too far, i could just leave. it was helpful to me. mr. kane: did you ever come close to just leaving? mr. ryan: i never had to. i never had to. the thing is, i'm a conservative. and jim jordan and i do not agree on tactics for the most part, but we generally agree on philosophy. we generally agree on policy.
i am just using jj as an example. he was head of the freedom caucus at the time. so they never really second-guessed my convictions. and they always knew where i wanted to go and the reason i think we were successful as a majority in passing all these bills -- we passed everything we we wanted to pass. the health care bill we passed. mr. kane: you passed it out of the house. mr. ryan: yes. everything else we pretty much got into law. i think the key, key, key thing was get everyone to agree ahead of time what's the plan, what are we going to do, what do we believe, what do we want to achieve, what's the plan, and then literally lay out a timeline, and then hold everyone accountable to it. and so as the sessions went on in year one, two, and three, i just kept going back to the numbers. remember, we agreed to do this. remember this was the strategy. like appropriations. some people didn't like the appropriations strategy we
had launched last chuck and may. mitch and i basically decided here's how we want to proceed to get appropriations become on -- back on track. some people didn't like that. you guys, remember, we agreed to do it this way. this is the strategy to write these bills and get them in law. and so it organizing a , conference on predetermined outcomes and timelines and getting buy-in ahead of time allows you to hold people accountable to fulfilling that obligation throughout the entire session. that to me is the absolute way to organize a session in a caucus. they call it a caucus. we call it a conference. mr. kane: do you worry that in the long view of things, you passed a lot of bills, and you know, history is not going to say oh my gosh, they passed five appropriations bills on time. do you worry about the big issues of immigration, debt, that you -- those are the two -- mr. ryan: those are the two i wish -- the two regrets we could have gotten done. mr. kane: which is bigger? ryan: debt.
let me back up for a second. i think history is going to be very good to this majority. why? the tax system was atrocious. i spent my adult life working on tax reform ever since i did it , with jeff kemp working on the ise. we really did have the worst tax system in the industrialized world, and it was hollowing out american competitiveness. we have now put underneath the economy a far, far stronger foundation for a healthy economy and growth because of that. i was extremely worried about our national security posture, meaning our military. we have now put underneath that a much stronger foundation. what i've been saying to my staff all along and our members is, our job in the majority is to improve the health and the antibodies of the american economy, of the american system. what we were aiming to do was strengthen america's resilience, america's health, america's antibodies so whatever comes our
way -- you know, we've been through 9/11 and tarp and all these things, whatever come ours way we are stronger and better prepared for these thing. i believe we have done that in this last two-year system. there are so many things we have done. i was working on enterprise zones when i was 23 years old. it's the law of the land now, we call them opportunity zones. i'm excited about so manufacture of the things we've done. mr. kane: $21 trillion. mr. ryan: to your question, debt and immigration are the big issues. if we get rid of debt in this country, we will have a great 21st century. specifically with debt, it is health care reform. health care reform is health care entitlement. health-care entitlement aging of , baby boomers, inflation, that is the driver of the debt that has got to get dealt with. what we did in the house which was broadly written to meet the senate rules that would have been excellent education which could make a huge difference on health care itself and debt and deficits. it's the one that got away.
on immigration, i really liked the, i call it the curbelo bill, , it is -- the immigration compromise bill i put on the floor in july. mr. kane: the one that got the majority of republicans, bare majority, but no democrats. mr. ryan: so i think the democrats decided to take their toys and go away. meaning they weren't going to engage with us on this issue. i think they felt they had a political advantage. a lot of them on the floor said this is a pretty good bill. the partisan knives down, both sides do. we fixed that, and we get the debt under control, there's no stopping our country. we already have a good foundation for economic growth. i think the fed is by the way on the right track, normalizing. we've got a regulatory posture that's pretty good. we've got great tax system in place. you get debt and immigration right, we are -- the fundamentals are in a good place. those are the two things that has got to get done. mr. kane: if the tax bill is so
good, why has it not resonated with the public, and why did it not sell in the mid-term election? mr. ryan: it actually did in many ways. we pushed it hard from the house. but it was not the issue that was on the front of people's minds at the time. i think -- mr. kane: was it in the front of donald j. trump's mind? mr. ryan: i think the immigration issue was more in his mind. i think the caravan was, you know on tv a lot. , my own view, i regretted -- would rather talk about the economy and how successful it was. when we had the opportunity to talk about those things, i was with randy hultgren who'd lost a district that adjoins mine, at scott forge, a really cool company that is in aesop illinois and wisconsin and they , just went through this big tutorial about how successful tax reform was for them, more benefits, more jobs, hire -- hiring more people buying , more equipment, everywhere i went across the country. in three weeks in october, i did 50 cities, 12 states, 25 members.
and everywhere we went, there were phenomenal stories about how tax reform was really improving economic growth in businesses and take-home pay. good story to tell, it got overshadowed. mr. kane: how many times did you try to tell the president? mr. ryan: i don't know. mr. kane: you lost count? mr. ryan: yeah. i lost count. mr. kane: you literally lost count? mr. ryan: yeah. mr. kane: in the moment you took the speaker's gavel, i think you guys were at 247. mr. ryan: yeah, i think that's right. mr. kane: and you're passing off the conference to mccarthy and it is 201 or 208. mr. ryan: that's right. that's right. mr. kane: how much of that blame falls on you? mr. ryan: i am not -- i thought you were going to ask me a different question. [laughter] mr. kane: you assumed it was going to be trump? ok well then answer both. [speaking simultaneously] mr. ryan: historically it's a 32-seat loss, somewhere around there. i think that was part of the problem.
if you look at the crunch of the numbers, it's a few things. first of all, suburban voters, that's the number one liability we experienced. pennsylvania redistricting, and california just defies logic to me. we we had a lot of wins that , night. we were only down 26 seats the night of the election. and three weeks later we lost basically every contested california race. this, this election system they have i can't begin to understand. what ballot harvesting. mr. kane: california voter do you think there's something wrong with it? mr. ryan: no. i think it is weird. in wisconsin we knew the next , day. and scott walker, my friend, i was sad to see him lose, but we accepted the results on wednesday. so you know, i think we had california, their system is bizarre. i still don't frankly understand it. there are a lot of races there we should have won. we got massively outspent.
i mean big-time outspent. ,you get a couple of billionaires dropping $100 million on your head, that leaves a mark. and so we got massively outspent. we had mid-term headwinds which are traditional things. and we do have to face there's a , suburban voter issue we have to attend to which is what our concern was all along. mr. kane: one of your close friends is elise stefanik from new york. she was an advisor for you on the vp staff in she told me a 2012. week or two ago she's enraged about what has happened with women, both women voters and the just running away from the republican party, and the number of women left in the conference. it's fallen from 23, which isn't necessarily a good number, but historically good for republicans, down to 13. you guys elected one new republican woman.
what can your successor, what can your party, do to go out and find women to run and appeal to women, suburban women? mr. ryan: get elise to go back to doing a great job. we put her in charge of recruiting. mr. kane: she says she doesn't want to do that anymore. mr. kane: mr. ryan: i know, she needs to change her mind. i am a big fan of police. -- elise. she's one of the most talented members of congress we have. she did a great job recruiting. we had spectacular women running. mr. kane: then why -- what does the party need to do to back that up? she recruited over 100 women to run. mr. ryan: look at maria salazar. i thought maria was going to win against donna shalala. mr. kane: i was down there in late october. mr. ryan: i thought she was a spectacular candidate. and again the headwinds of the mid-term and all the other factors washed against us. just like they did against the democrats in 2010. those things happen. it doesn't mean you give up.
it means you go back at it and recruit great candidates like elise did and get them to run again. that's how i see it. mr. kane: on the california thing when you said ballot harvesting, i'm no expert in california. mr. ryan: neither m.r.i. i. i don't begin to understand. mr. kane: what is ballot harvesting? mr. ryan: you should do a story on it. honestly, i don't really understand what it is. you don't have to -- the way the absentee ballot program used to work and the way it works now it seems pretty loosey goose. point being when you have candidates that win the absentee ballot vote, win the day of the vote, and then lose three weeks later because of provisionals, that is really bizarre. and so i just think that's a very, very strange outcome. when you win the absentee ballots, and you win the in-person vote, where i come from, you win the election. if you then -- and you're up six points or something like that. it's bizarre. my only point is -- i'm not saying there's anything nefarious about it. i just don't know. but we believe we were up about six seats in california the
night of the election. now i think we lost just about every single one of those. mr. kane: but are you -- would you want the, i don't know -- mr. ryan: states are in turn -- in charge of their election systems. mr. kane: would you want the state attorney general to review it? mr. ryan: i'm not getting into that. mr. kane: you know javier becerra, you could call him up. mr. ryan: i'm sure he'd love to take my call. all i am saying is we took it on the chin in california and in pennsylvania, and we had a mid-term drag against us. that's my point. mr. kane: mitt romney has been a mentor in a lot of ways to you. you are still close friends. mr. ryan: yeah. mr. kane: what -- did he call you up and ask your advice? and was there ever a hesitation where you said mitt, get the hell out of here? mr. ryan: that was about a year ago. we're good friends. we talk all the time. you know what i said? he knows my phase of life. he called me up the day i announced. he said the one friend i've got in washington, and you're leaving?
and he said, i was going to get a two-bedroom apartment and offer you a room so you didn't have to sleep in your office anymore. he has got a petty good sense of humor. mr. kane: probably would have been a big apartment. mr. ryan: right. mr. kane: he's got a little bit of coin. mr. ryan: yeah, he's going to live on the hill i think. he still has a lot of public service left in him. and i think it's great that he's coming. and i think he feels a sense of civic duty. i think with john mccain passing, for example, mitt believes that there's a role for him in our party, in being, you know, a statesman and a standard bearer in our party. i've encouraged him to go on the foreign relations committee to help -- i was not a big traveler in my early career. but when i became speaker i decided to do some landmark co-dells and go to nato, reassure nato how we're support -- supportive of nato. i think mitt can do a lot of good for our country by serving
by -- by serving the foreign relations committee and representing us abroad. things like that are in his interest, in all our interests, and i have encouraged him to do that. mr. kane: should we look to him to play some of that john mccain role? [speaking simultaneously] mr. ryan: i wouldn't look to him for that style. i would look to him as a leader who will be a standard bearer of our principles. mr. kane: ok. what was that, the loss of 2012, i remember going to iowa when you spoke at the governor's birthday party. mr. ryan: yeah, giving him that cheeshead with the mustache. mr. kane: and you sort of opened up that night and talked about the 2012 defeat, and it kind of stung you. mr. ryan: the only election i ever lost. mr. kane: well, how did that this month feel compared to that , month? you were not on the ballot this time. how did those two losses feel? mr. ryan: different. when you're speaker, you get
really invested in the members. you get to know them and their families. you learn about their goals and their aspirations, and you become very emotionally attached to people. you really do. you know if you're a committee , chairman, you don't get that. you get that if you're a leader. and so, i was very worried about a lot of my friends, good people in congress, who were there for the right reasons, and by the way, the kind of members we lost are like the best of us. mr. kane: yeah curbelo. , mr. ryan: i love curbelo. such a great member, in congress for all of the right reasons. an important part of our party. and i obviously hope he sticks with it. so carlos is a perfect example. and our wives are friends and you know we're friends. you really feel for him. so in that kind of an election, you worry about the human side of it. in the 2012 election, it was the policy trajectories that really unnerved me. which was, i didn't like the direction obama was taking the
country. and we clearly had something else mapped out. and to see the divergent trajectories was really unnerving to me from an intellectual standpoint. emotionally, from losing, of course, i felt worse for mitt than -- i went back to congress. but in this last election, i don't see a big divergent trajectory because we still have the senate, we still have the white house. it was to me more personal and emotional. carlos is a perfect example, seeing carlos lose. mr. kane: saudi arabia. the senate has voted yesterday in a pretty strong symbolic rebuke. sort of two questions. there's not a lot of time left. what is the house considering doing anything on this, and what do you believe happened? mr. ryan: ok. so i won't -- i don't want to get into classified -- other than we don't know all of the details that one would like to know.
the circumstantial evidence is pretty strong. let me first say from our branch of government that we stand in solidarity with you and the fourth estate. seriously, i mean that. very seriously. believe real politics. i think there's a time and place for real politic. but only if -- and i said this yesterday in my press conference, only if your foreign policy speaks with very clear moral clarity to begin with. and we have to do a better job of that. i don't think the yemen resolution is a smart way to go. we had a compromise resolution on this that we passed in the house a little while ago. i think this is exactly what the magnitsky act is for. this is what we wrote the magnitsky act and there's more four. to do on that front. and the administration, i think, should do more on that front. so, yes, we have lots of strategic interests alignment with the saudis, no two ways about it, for the gulf, for iran, for israel, for
everything. and those aren't going to go away, and those will persist. still, we can speak with moral clarity. we can make, we can take actions that address these issues so that we're really clear to the world what we believe and to dictators, you can't do this. mr. kane: who speaks, who has -- [speaking simultaneously] i know, that's why i think magnitsky is the way to go. mr. ryan: and i think it is a smart tool to use, and is what we designed the tool for. and i think congress can play a very constructive role on that. mr. kane: ok. and that falls to your successors? because -- mr. ryan: yeah. we've got like two weeks left. mr. kane: ok. margaret from twitter asks about the trump ban, back when he was banning "the washington post" from -- [speaking simultaneously] mr. ryan: oh, i was like, which ban are you talking about? mr. kane: yeah. and you know this goes to cnn
, and acosta. has he created open hostility toward the media? and is there some sort of role that congress can do? mr. ryan: well, yeah, i've given a little thought to this. i'd say a couple of things. he does create some hostility. the jims acosta thing. but it's a little bit of a two-way street. we in congress lead by example. >> i always see you back there. >> you gave us the final question. >> what else? >> we should leave -- lead by example to show that is how we should conduct these things. this goes to a broader point. i wish i had more time to think about these things. the tribalism is getting out of
control. i see the 21st century business model. the 21st century business model of getting hits and clicks and eyeballs on cable news, websites , has created an incentive structure in the marketplace where polarization cells. if you go to leading websites, there are algorithms that play on the vision and polarization of people's fear. that tribalism and our country, to me, is our undoing. as conservatives, we believe there is a total of the left. now it is being practiced on the right. it is being practiced widespread. poor of us who of her -- a center politics, we have to find out how to make the ronald
aspirational politics good again. how do we make that successful? instead of telling candidates do this and do not do that, do this aspiration. how do we make that cool again? i do not know the example. yes, the president has a hostile relationship with the press. this is what the new normal is. we have to figure out what the heck to do about it. >> a new norm also seems to be plea deals. i was told from inside that cohen is- michael going to plea to lying to congress about his connections to russia. is this congress capable of handling this investigation or are we sitting back and waiting for bob mueller to produce a report? >> i have gotten this question
for the last year. bob mueller has been left alone and he will continue to be. finish his job whenever that is. he will be able to do his job. respect to russia and intelligence, we have been -- done thorough investigations on this issue. we are capable of doing that. with respect to mueller, i am not worried about his ability to complete the investigation and do his job. >> this is a struggle for a lot of us. you say you are not worried. the presidentme, fired the director of the fbi, pushed out jeff sessions, yesterday he told the new york post he is open -- he will not take the metaphor pardon off the table. >> if i was really stressed about bob mueller, i would do something. >> why do you -- >> i have good reason to believe
-- >> because of conversations you have directly had with them? >> i do not want to get into that. i do not think he will be interviewed -- interfered with. i believe he will be left to do his job. >> have you directly told the president of what the fallout would be? i have a successful relationship with the president because i keep our conversations between the 12 us. that would -- the two of us. that would be my advice to nancy and chuck. just because we have to divide a government, it has got to work. have to have some kind of relationship. it is far more successful, from my experience -- we have a of conversations about a lot of things. if you keep those conversations between two people and do not
talk about it, you will be more successful in achieving goals and outcomes you seek, then going out and posturing to the media to score cheap political points. that has always been my attitude and that is my advice for my successor. >> you've got somebody lying to congress, admitting they are lying. is there anything -- >>cohen? i just heard that he should be prosecuted to the extent of the law. that is why we put people under oath. backup. lying to congress, that means he testified and we swore him under a and we put him on the record. we did our job, our oversight. i just heard this for the first did itsause congress job in conducting oversight of the executive branch and brought somebody in to testify under oath, under penalty of fellow the -- felony. >> you took on a roll of
becoming house speaker. of a moral a roll compass and conscious of the republican party. you frequently would chastise then candidate. you have said that you would keep those conversations quiet. friends of yours, be alike that has been an abandoned men of the pot -- abandonment of the paul ryan the new. -- they knew. >> he's a good friend of mine. >> do you guys still talk? do you have a group of friends? >> pete and i are close friends. the thing is, in these jobs, you have to be willing to take a lot of slinging it rose if you want to succeed. -- our job, asng
i see it, is to build the country's resilience, health, and strength. whatever happens we are stronger as a nation. in ag government work unified government, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, this is the third government we in thed an 100 years first time we were not in a constant war footing while we have a chance of passing a domestic agenda i can make a huge difference. we ran on an agenda, had an agenda. i laid out a two-year agenda for the president. the guy build skyscrapers. i figured he would relate to it. [laughter] he did, actually. [laughter] i saw a chance of getting a lot of good policy done for the country. we got a great deal of it done. what i learned was, working with the president on a confidential
basis, bringing concerns on , personalityues issues, policy issues, temperament issues -- you get a better outcome by keeping it that way then going out and posturing. their job is to go on tv and be a pundit. my job is to try to make things work. good outcomes for the american people, past good legislation to improve people's lives and get good decisions made at all levels of government so we can advance the country's interests. >> they would look at that and say you have given the tax cut over the country's moral values. what about russia and ukraine? >> i don't see it that way. >> should be do anything about russia's -- >> we should help ukraine more. we should show that the consequences are that we sell them weapons packages, give the more aid.
>> ok. in terms of your legacy, what do you want it to be? what do you see it as? >> i am not a big ego legacy guy. i took thehink opportunity i was given and made a positive difference. two things i am most proud of, frankly, one of the cool things you do is actually help people with personal problems. fields, a cheerleader in milton, wisconsin, she had a heart problem and needed a pacemaker that was only approved in europe. it was going to keep her alive and she was going to die. we cut through the red tape and got her pacemaker. her mom, a single mom, low income. we got the company to donate it and the doctors to do it for free. you can do things like that as a
congressman and it is really gratifying. i am proud of those achievements. i am also proud of getting our party to recognize debt. , sinceoud that the house i was budget chair, every session, has passed a budget to show how to balance the budget and pay off debt. the senate never pass those budgets. it is frustrating to me. specifically,said here is what we would do to balance the budget and pay debt. i was ostracized when i first put this out there in 2007. my own party said it run away from ryan. now we pass those budgets every session in a row. diane black did it. i-8 moved the ball. not as far as i wanted to, but a great distance. on poverty issues, people do not report this to much. bonds, our members
have gotten more attuned to this issue. that is the stuff bob woodson and i preach about. a really good impact on the. rebuilding the military, the tax system. those are policy achievements i am the proudest of. it was getting our party members in the house to agree to when agenda, to have an election on an agenda and when -- win. house elections get overshadowed by presidential elections. things intoof these law and we think people are better off as a result. >> just about out of time. you have it big big -- you have any big vacation plans? >> my wife turns 50 soon.
reason, thinks it is called in wisconsin. [laughter] i am taking her to the beach soon. then i will do hunting. you have also waited tables at torchia coast. chairman of budget committee, house speaker. which of those would you do again? >> [laughter] waiting tables was a great experience. there was never a job i did not like. i loved working at mcdonald's. there was never a job i did not like. i am hoping to do things that are different from what i have done before. >> final question. the next heade coach or general manager of the green bay packers or ambassador to ireland? >> we have talked about ireland before. that is the only other government job i would aspire to do in my 60's, the ambassador of
ireland. one day, unification will occur. that would be pretty cool. general manager or president of the packers. that's a better job. he's doing a good job. >> that is the only other job you ever expect and government ? is one of the jobs i would take one day down the road. >> thank you very much. this could be one of his last interviews. come back to washington post.com to watch the highlights. thank you for being here and thank you, speaker ryan. >> thank you so much. . i appreciate it. [applause]
when the new congress starts in january, democrats will control the house and republicans will control the senate. new congress, new leaders. watch the process unfold. >> sunday on q&a, we visit the washington library at mount vernon for the 2018 debates togram featuring historians discuss what it means to be american. indivisible, and a sense was, we are together. that is somehow elemental to what it means to be american. >> the american character is to be able to improvise. when you look at george washington and the dark days of december 1777 at valley forge, the ability of washington to improvise, to be likened --
guerrilla fighter, to live off the land, to do what we need to do to get the job done. beginning, not all of these were included in what an american is. or certainoups religious groups were not, and women were not included or considered citizens. that changed over time. over time, more people are brought into the american family. >> sunday night at a clock eastern on c-span's q&a. congresswoman cheri bustos spoke to reporters after being elected chair of the democratic congressional campaign committee. she said everyr, congressional district in the country will be contested and protected. >>