Paul Ryan gives House GOP a ‘pep talk’
(CNN) — GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan gave House Republicans a pep talk on Thursday morning, September 20th telling members these final weeks leading to Election Day would see “an up and down race.”
“Three polls came out that have us within one point,” Ryan said of the ticket he shares with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to a GOP aide who attended the meeting. “They are going to [try to] distract us.”
The Wisconsin congressman and House Budget Committee chairman spoke at the final House Republican conference meeting prior to the November election, but took no questions from his colleagues. His remarks in the closed door meeting were described by the GOP aide, as well as several Republican members who attended the meeting.
Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho described the remarks as a “pep talk,” and told members “not to get distracted by the day to day polls.” Ryan prodded members to get out and talk to voters, Labrador recounted, saying he was feeling energized by his trips to battleground states.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said Ryan encouraged members to “stay positive” and told members “this is a choice election.”
The GOP aide said Ryan contrasted the Republican presidential ticket’s message with his description of President Barack Obama’s campaign tactics.
“They will try to make this about little things. We have taken all the tough votes and led,” Ryan said. “Here’s our commitment: we are going to make this about the big things. We need to go on offense and we need to give our constituents the choice of two futures.”
House Republicans have repeatedly criticized the Democratic-led Senate and the Obama administration for, in the GOP’s view, inaction on the federal budget, upcoming sequester, and measures to boost the economy.
He did not comment directly on the clips of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser last spring which was posted online by a left-leaning magazine earlier this week.
Members described Ryan’s message as positive, and Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana told CNN afterwards that he never been to a House GOP meeting where members were more excited.