US Rep. Ryan to Wisconsin GOP: Time to unify
- Associated Press
- May 3, 2014 - 12:15 PM
MILWAUKEE — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential nominee, told delegates at Wisconsin's Republican convention Saturday that the party must unify.
Ryan took the stage several hours before delegates were expected to debate a tea party-backed resolution affirming Wisconsin's right to secede. Party leaders are urging delegates to defeat the measure. Conservative activists say the party isn't paying attention to them.
Ryan didn't mention the resolution but called on Republicans to unify so they can win elections and save the American dream. The line mirrored a letter 50 Assembly Republicans sent to delegates Friday saying the resolution won't help them at the polls.
Ryan also complained about the national debt and Lois Lerner, a former Internal Revenue Service official who has refused to answer questions about agents singling out tea party tax-exempt applications for scrutiny.
He promised delegates that congressional Republicans would get answers about the Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead in 2012. House Speaker John Boehner said Friday he would create a committee to investigate the attack.
Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, has taken heavy criticism from Democrats in recent days for remarking on a talk radio show in March that the country is seeing a "tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working."
Ryan has said he was inarticulate and last month followed through on a promise to meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss poverty.
On Saturday he told delegates that poverty rates are increasing but said nothing else on the topic.
Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate released a statement Saturday calling Ryan's remarks offensive and Republicans like him keep people from getting ahead.
© 2014 Star Tribune