BARTOW, Fla. – Despite hand-wringing from a high-profile Republican over the way Mitt Romney’s campaign has used him, Rep. Paul Ryan said on Friday that he’s satisfied with his role in the Republican ticket’s bid for the White House.
“We’re talking to local people, going around the country, talking to local press -- I’m excited about my role and I feel very comfortable with it,” the GOP vice presidential nominee told reporters during a stop at Walker’s Produce here. He was responding to comments by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who said that Romney’s campaign wasn’t making good enough use of Ryan.
“They not only need to use [Ryan] out on the trail more effectively, they need to have more of him rub off on Mitt because I think Mitt thinks that way but he’s got to be able to articulate that,” Walker said during an interview with radio host Charlie Sykes on Friday morning. “I think he has got a compelling message; he just has to get out and tell it, but I think too many people are restraining him from telling that.”
Ryan chalked up Walker’s comments to the fact that he’s a “good backer” of the congressman. He said he “absolutely” felt like he has been properly utilized, and said he was excited to do events such as the Values Voters Summit in Washington last week and a speech to the AARP convention in New Orleans earlier on Friday.
Ryan received a negative reaction from the audience at the AARP speech, and he bemoaned the partisan nature of the debate.
“It’s what we've come to expect because the politics of reforming entitlements has become very bitter and it's very unfortunate because if we let the politics get the best of us,” he said. “These problems are going to get out of our control. We've got to fix Medicare before it goes bankrupt."