Paul Ryan does not know if he's running for President in 2016, so stop asking. It's "premature," he said on NBC's Meet the Press. "I’ve got an important job to do," Ryan told David Gregory in his first Sunday show appearance since the election. "I represent Wisconsin, I’m chairman of the Budget Committee at a time of a fiscal crisis. I think I can do my job, representing the people I work for by focusing on that right now than focusing on these distant things." Ryan acknowledged that the Republican party is in the middle of a rebuilding period. "We have to expand our appeal to more people and show how we’ll take the country’s founding principles and apply them to the problems of the day to offer solutions to fix our problems," he said. "We have to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty. How our ideas are better at solving health care. How our ideas are better at solving the problems people are experiencing in their daily lives and that’s a challenge we have to rise to, and I think we’re up for it."
Ryan justified his silence between the end of the election and the inauguration, about three months in real time but an eternity in Washington, by saying he was waiting to see how Obama behaved immediately after being re-elected. So far Ryan is unimpressed. He thinks Obama is more interested in "political conquest," than compromise. And, amazingly, Ryan longed for the days when
staunch Republican Democrat Bill Clinton was in the White House. "If we had a Clinton presidency, if we had Erskin Bowles chief of staff of the White House, or president of the United States, I think we would’ve fixed this fiscal mess by now," Ryan said. "That’s not the kind of presidency we’re dealing with right now."