Interviewer plays word association with Ryan
August 23rd, 2012
09:37 PM ET
10 years ago

Interviewer plays word association with Ryan

(CNN) - Want to know what the Republican vice presidential candidate really thinks of President Barack Obama?

Just ask Rep. Paul Ryan to play word association.

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Reporter Orlando Salinas with CNN affiliate WDBJ in Virginia said he had only five minutes - time for about 12 questions in his Wednesday interview with Ryan - so he kept them short.

He asked the candidate, who is Mitt Romney's running mate and chairman of the House Budget Committee, about a fast-food chain that has become a point for both rally and protest after its CEO expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage.

"Chick fil-A," Salinas asked. "Good chicken," Ryan answered, laughing. "Free people exercising their free speech rights.”

Then there were the serious questions.

To "transparency as a politician," Ryan responded, "Fire Barack Obama and hire Mitt Romney."

"Coal energy." Ryan's answer: "We have a lot of it. Let's use it."

"The hardest thing you have ever had to do in your personal life as a man, as a father," Salinas asked.

Ryan said, "The hardest things are sometimes the best things. The hardest things are balancing your life, keeping your faith, keeping your family healthy and strong."

As the interview ended, Salinas told Ryan that he didn't mean the questioning to be of the "gotcha" variety, and Ryan said, "I've never really done anything like that before. It was interesting."

But what does Ryan think of the president?

"He said he would be one thing, and he's a completely different politician than we thought he would be in 2008," Ryan replied to the name "Barack Obama."

- CNN Political Reporter Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan • Virginia
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    You know, after awhile you've got to sit back and ask your what happened to the Grand Old Party? For those who still haven't figured it out ... look at Paul Ryan. He has embroiled America in one Republican HELL NO segment after another, whether it was interfering in the personal life of Terry Schiavo ... or trying to pass a "Personhood" amendment ... or trying to shut down the government ... or trying to voucherize medicare ... or trying to privatize social security ... or trying to redefine rape as forcible (whatever that means) ... or trying to pass each and every anti-abortion bill that Mr. Akin so heatedly defends ... or trying to explain away his personal admiration of Russian atheist Ayn Rand ... or trying to take on the Catholic Church over who understands Christ's teachings better - Paul Ryan or the Bishops ... or trying to distance himself from his own voting record under the Bush Administration and the excesses it caused ... or trying to pretend his own wealth hadn't come from a road building business heaped with federal grants he no longer supports for others.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    The hypocrisy of this man Paul Ryan is breathtaking. And Mitt Romney wants to unite America? Bit hard to swallow, that.

    August 24, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Jeffrey

    "Transparency as a politician?" "[H]ire Mitt Romney." Really, the man hasn't divulged one detail on how he would create 12 million jobs in four years. Romney also hasn't released his tax returns, stating he doesn't want to be attacked. He claims to have donated to his church in multiple stump speeches, but now claims he won't release the returns because such donations are to be kept between he and his church. Funny, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints myself, I have come across no doctrine that states the privacy of those donations. In fact, each year, you are given a receiopt, not only to verify you paid a full 10%, but also for use on preparing tax returns.

    August 24, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Nietodarwin

    Well, Ryan likes to answer questions with little three part sentences that contain no answer. "The hardest things are balancing your life, keeping your faith, keeping your family healthy and strong." IS NOT AN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.
    Still he has been honest about his "pro life" record. If he keeps up his agenda, then many many women will be able to answer the question this way. "What's the hardest thing you've ever had to do in your personal life as a woman?' Answer, "I HAD TO GIVE BIRTH TO THE CHILD OF MY RAPIST, because Paul Ryan and the GOP made all abortion illegal."

    August 24, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. timothy

    What if the reporter said, "Flip-flop?"
    Would Ryan say, "Me" or "Romney?"

    August 24, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Observer

    Are there any Reporters with brains left in this world. For crying out loud the Congressman has a voting and long policy record. Analyze and ask him questions on the effects of his policies on the American electorate.

    August 24, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. ObjectiveGuy

    Nice straightforward talk–what a refreshing change of pace from the constant "spin" we've become accustomed to from Washington. He seems to be intelligent, focused on fixing the tax code in a fair manner (note that he's proposing a 20% tax cut for the middle class, which seems to be completely overlooked by the Obama campaign spin team), and focused on getting the economy working again, which will, in turn, have Americans working again (not unemployed or grossly underemployed). All is all, a classy guy. We could do (and have done) WAY worse than to have a Romney/Ryan team running the show.

    August 24, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Word Association: Paul Ryan......Throw Grandma over the cliff.

    August 24, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    He's right. Obama has lied about just about everything and refuses to disclose just who he is. We have gotten a few unteleprompted views into how he realy thinks and they have revealed a person far different than what the country thought they were getting in 2008.

    August 24, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. HenryMiller

    "Barack Obama" "Closet socialist"

    August 24, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. Pete

    "transparency as a politician" Yep, Mitt Romney is the first person who comes to mind, with Ryan a close second. Thanks for the good laugh.

    August 24, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. CarolinaGirl

    Interviewer to PR: What is the first thing you will do once you and Mitt win the election?
    PR: Make sure women are put back in their place. Make sure the rich get richer. Let Wall Street do whatever they want.

    August 24, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. rob

    Would Joe Biden know what "Word Association" is ?

    August 24, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. TJB

    Here's a word association for Ryan – Todd Akin.

    August 24, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Fair is Fair


    "Barack Obama" "Closet socialist"
    He came out of that closet a long time ago.

    August 24, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. roro

    Instead of this stupid word association game, how about journalists ask important questions about the candidates actual voting record and bill introductions. Let these guys have to answer for what they have done, and what they did that was actually good for the country. This other stuff is just garbage. Exactly what does the R/R team plan to do to lower the deficit and bring job growth? They should also have to answer for their lack of tax returns. There's something fishy about saying that releasing their taxes would give "ammunition" to the other party. Exactly what ammunition is there in those returns? It sounds like they're desperately trying to hide something, maybe even something illegal. Otherwise, I personally see no other reason not to do what every other candidate has done, including Romney, Sr. There's something rotten in Denmark.

    August 24, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. carlos


    Would Joe Biden know what "Word Association" is ?

    rob, you are showing your below plant level iq and the intellect of a grape.....really nauseating

    August 24, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. Say No to Willard Romney Hood and Personhood Ann Ryand

    This is fun.
    Paul Ryan = flip-flopping liar
    Paul Ryan = fake defifict hawk
    Paul Ryan = Eddie Munster
    Paul Ryan = twerp too scared to defend his "legitimate" rape stance
    Paul Ryan = typical GOPer mindset "I got mine from the govt, but you can't"
    Paul Ryan = face not even a mommy could love
    Paul Ryan = senior citizens' nightmare
    Paul Ryan = chickenhawk
    Paul Ryan = number two, and number for brains as well
    Paul Ryan = Sarah Palin in pants, soon to be irrelevant in American politics after 11/6/2012 when he loses in an electoral college landslide

    August 24, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. TY

    Ryan is Ryan and not fit to be VP, yesterday reporters asked him what is your experience in Foreign Affairs and he said
    "I VOTED FOR THE IRAN WAR". Really........... this is a guy some of you are behind because you don't like Obama and Biden. Don't be foolish and vote against your best interest......

    August 24, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. FLIndependent

    Ryan is part of the problem, not the solution. He's one of the head cheerleaders in going against President Obama's proposals on budget, jobs, taxes, etc.

    August 24, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. okc

    to rob, no, I dought joe knows what "Word Association" means....while he doe's know lots of four letter words that big word would be a hang up for sure.

    August 24, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. w l jones

    He played with word in office for fourteen years on welfare and did nothing for the people elected him nor the people of this country. Talk is cheat action that what get thing done so for it happen happen yet. Bless.

    August 24, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. Jersey Girl

    Very well, said, Lynda/Minnesota,
    couldn't have said it better myself!!

    August 24, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. WachetAuf

    We live in a world in which simple five second phrases dominate our dialogue. Simple word associations promote that instinct very well. What drives this kind of dialogue is the narcissistic belief that we have already acquired all the answers we need to survive. Survival, after all, only requires skill in manipulating the system, those around us, to achieve our own personal objectives. To manipulate people, all we need is a good reputation. We obtain those reputations by self promotion and creating illusions which are not dependent on the reality. Further, the primitive instinctive part of our minds (90% of the mind) already leans to one side of the political spectrum or another. The role of the reasoning part (10%) is merely to rationalize what the instinctive part demands that we believe.

    The only way to move beyond this form of deliberation is construct a system which promotes more reasoning. Our founding fathers tried to do that by constructing a balanced system, a congress, a senate, a court and an executive with equal powers, more or less. We promote freedom of speech. Guess what? In spite of our ability to speak freely, we have not learned how to make the speech take on a more reasoned discourse during the election process. Very little reasoned deliberation is promoted. The voters are too impatient and dominated by the primitive parts of their minds.

    So, can we construct a model which promotes more reason and less impulsive reactions? Probably not. It takes too much patience and time to understand the complete history of economic theory, governing models, morality and ethics. The American people have no patience for such things. No party seems to want it. Nothing but a final collapse of the system will force any party to engage in an honest dialogue.

    The bottom line is that we will continue to play this game of Russian Roulette until the bullet finally kills one of the parties in this struggle for the hearts and minds. Who wins? Who knows? It is Russian Roulette.

    August 24, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. carlos

    payn he is throwing her under the bus, freaking hypocrite and low class........devil's eyes and growing nose

    August 24, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You're on FIRE!!!
    You go girl!!

    August 24, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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