In his first live television interview since the November election, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan Sunday blasted President Barack Obama for his handling of the economy and said the nation would be in better financial shape if Hillary Clinton were president.
Clinton, who is secretary of state, ran unsuccessfully against Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary. Clinton is considered the strongest potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, however, she has not indicated whether she would make another run for the nation's highest office.
In Sunday's interview, Ryan took a number of jabs at Obama, the Huffington Post said, at one point saying: "I don't think that the president thinks we actually have a fiscal crisis." Ryan even pulled out a chart to show host David Gregory the dangers of runaway government spending.
Ryan also predicted that the so-called "sequester" cuts, which Congress postponed for two months following the fiscal cliff deal at the beginning of this year, will likely take place, CNN.com reported. Those cuts would slash critical items from the budget of both defense and some non-defense aspects of the government to help save money.
Ryan said he doesn't think the country is facing a government shutdown this spring, but he said the sequester cuts will happen, CNN.com said.
"We can't lose those spending cuts. That was to pay for the last debt ceiling increase, let alone any future increases," Ryan told Gregory.
The congressman from Janesville also reflected on the presidential election, the Huffington Post reported.
"It was a great experience, I feel that I benefited tremendously from that," Ryan said. "Mitt Romney would have been one heck of a great president. He's a very good man. And the big regret I have is that we didn't win the election and that we weren't able to put the kinds of reforms that we think are right for the country in place."
Ryan's name often comes up as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, but when asked what he thought about running then, he said: "I don't."
“I think it’s just premature,” Mediaiate.com quoted Ryan as saying. “I’ve got a job to do. I represent Wisconsin, I’m chairman of the budget committee at the time we have a fiscal crisis.”
Until this weekend, Ryan had kept a relatively low profile after the November presidential election. On Saturday, Ryan spoke at a gathering of conservatives in Washington, D.C., where he said the Republican Party must avoid internal bickering in the wake of the losses in November, The Huffington Post reported.
Ryan's first public appearance in Wisconsin since the election came about two weeks ago, when he spoke at a Tea Party rally in Racine and blasted the federal Affordable Care Act.