Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan quickly ended an interview after he was questioned about how he would prevent gun violence, then later blamed it on the reporter’s “strange” questions.
In an interview with ABC12 in Michigan, Rep. Ryan denied the United States was suffering from a “gun problem,” but claimed the country did have a “crime problem” that could be solved with conservative economic policies.
Rep. Ryan said:
“We have to make sure we enforce our laws. We have lots of laws that aren’t being properly enforced. We need to make sure we enforce these laws.
“The best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity to the inner cities, is to help people get out of poverty in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline, good character, that is civil society.
“That is what charities and civic groups and churches do to help one another make sure they can realize the value in one another.”
In an unlikely turn of events, the reporter followed up by asking, “And you can do all that by cutting taxes? With a big tax cut?”
Ryan quickly snapped back, “Those are your words, not mine,” before his press secretary Michael Steel interrupted from off-camera: “Thank you very much, sir.”
As Ryan took off his mic, he said to the reporter, “That was kind of strange, you’re trying to stuff words in people’s mouths?”
The interviewer replied, “Well, I don’t know if it’s strange,” but Ryan disagreed: “Sounds like you’re trying to put answers to questions,” after which the camera lens is covered.
Rep. Ryan’s spokesman Brendan Buck later said in a statement:
“The reporter knew he was already well over the allotted time for the interview when he decided to ask a weird question relating gun violence to tax cuts. Ryan responded as anyone would in such a strange situation. When you do nearly 200 interviews in a couple months, eventually you’re going to see a local reporter embarrass himself.“
Oh yeah, sure. The local reporter embarrassed himself. That’s definitely what happened there, and not the other way around.