Paul Ryan sat down for an interview on Monday with ABC 12 in Flint, Michigan, and things didn’t go quite as planned.
In the clip, which was removed from ABC 12′s website but captured and posted by BuzzFeed, the station’s reporter asks Ryan, “Does this country have a gun problem?’
The GOP vice presidential candidate responds that “this country has a crime problem.” When the reporter asks for clarification, Ryan explains that “good, strong gun laws” are currently on the books, “but we have to make sure we enforce our laws.”
He goes on to clarify:
“We have lots of laws that aren’t being properly enforced. We need to make sure we enforce these laws. But the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity in 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’s what charities, and civic groups, and churches do to help one another make sure that they can realize the value in one another.”
ABC 12′s reporter then offers a somewhat odd retort, asking, “And you can do all that by cutting taxes? By…with a big tax cut?”
“Those are your words, not mine,” answers Ryan. A voice off-screen then implies that the interview is over, telling the reporter, “thank you very much, Sir.”
Ryan then abruptly stands up and removes his microphone, immediately ending the interview and telling the reporter, “That was kind of strange. You’re trying to stuff words in people’s mouths?”
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Ryan, provided the following statement to BuzzFeed regarding the interview:
“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.”
The Wisconsin congressman’s reaction to the “strange” moment aligns with his previously stated belief that the media has “inherent” bias. Earlier this month, he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that “as a conservative, I’ve long believed and long felt that there’s an inherent media bias. And I think anybody with objectivity would believe that that’s the case.” He also stated that he and his running mate Mitt Romney “expected” media bias going into the campaign.