Paul Ryan reflects on presidential campaign

Ryan will return to Congress
Paul Ryan reflects on presidential campaign

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.”

To watch WISC-TV’s full interview with Ryan, click on the video below: