ONTD Political

"I think the surprise was some of the turnout, especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race"

Former GOP vice-presidential nominee and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is blaming President Barack Obama's win on his turnout in cities. In one of a series of first interviews following the loss by Ryan and Mitt Romney, Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "Well, he got turnout. The president should get credit for achieving record-breaking turnout numbers from urban areas for the most part, and that did win the election for him." Ryan repeated the line to local station WISC-TV.

But Politico's James Hohmann notes that the Romney-Ryan ticket also lost predominately white and rural states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and underperformed in Midwestern states.

Ryan's fixation on urban areas is not something that merely happened post-election -- during the campaign, he wanted to go to inner cities and promote Republican ideas to lift people out of poverty. He did give a campaign speech in Cleveland on poverty, but his message has a contradiction -- he has penned budget proposals in Congress that would slash the social safety net, worsening poverty.

Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said he and the Mitt Romney campaign were surprised at election results on Tuesday night, having felt previously confident at a win in a bid for the White House.

"I think the surprise was some of the turnout, especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race," said Ryan, who sat down with WISC-TV reporter Jessica Arp on Monday for the first time following the election.

"There's always an Electoral College strategy to winning these things, and you know what states you need to win to get to 270 electoral votes. When we watched Virginia and Ohio coming in, those as tight as they were, and looking like we were going to lose them, that's when it became clear we weren't going to win."

Ryan said he was disappointed in not being able to carry Wisconsin, but called the state an "uphill fight."

"Mitt didn't pick me for a certain state, he picked me for issues, for governing, for taking on the debt crisis," Ryan said. "We had hoped to win Wisconsin, fought hard for Wisconsin. We cut the president's lead in half, but nevertheless it wasn't enough."

Ryan is now looking forward to his work on the House Budget Committee and negotiations on the fiscal cliff.

"I respect the fact that the process is done and the president won the race and I congratulate him on the race," Ryan said. "We now have divided government like we did before, but the divided government we had the last two years didn't work. We're going to have to make this divided government work."

source / original interview & video
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