Rep. Paul D. Ryan greets people at a rally in Janesville, Wis., his hometown. (Jeffrey Phelps / Getty Images )
JANESVILLE, Wis. -- Taking a break from crafting his convention speech, Paul D. Ryan appeared on Fox News on Monday evening to defend the Romney-Ryan campaign’s plans for taxes and Medicare and to even say hello to Ron Paul.
Appearing from a high school track near his home in Janesville, Ryan promised Fox’s Bret Baier that the Republican National Convention would give the American public a chance to see how a Romney-Ryan ticket would “get the American idea revived.”
“We have positive ideas and solutions for a better future,” he said. “The president is on the campaign trail attacking – that’s what you’re going to see all fall. He can’t run on his record, so all he’s going to do is attack.”
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Ryan was interviewed on a hill near where he ran track in high school and takes his children sledding in the winter, waxing poetic about the charms of his hometown.
"I can get in my tree stand within about 20 minutes of leaving my house,” he said.
Earlier Tuesday, he spoke to voters from the gym of the high school that crowned him prom king in 1988, with his large extended family filling some of the seats.
In the interview on Fox, Ryan also defended Mitt Romney’s tax plan, which he said would eliminate loopholes.
“Instead of having Washington pick winners and losers, we’re going to plug those loopholes and lower tax rates for everybody,” he said.
When asked why the Romney campaign had not been more specific on details about this plan, Ryan said the campaign wanted to have a discussion in Congress about taxes.
“We want to go through a transparent process in Congress where we have a dialogue with the public,” he said. “There are a lot of Democrats who agree with us.”
Ryan reiterated his stance on rape after being asked in recent days about a bill he co-sponsored with Rep. Todd Akin that initially used the phrase “forcible rape,” but was rewritten after complaints from women’s groups.
“Rape is rape, period, end of story,” he said.
Ryan also told Baier that a Romney-Ryan administration would be more hawkish on Iran, a position the campaign has made clear before. He said he was concerned that the United States was beholden to the U.N. Security Council, and specifically members Russia and China, for matters of national security.
“A Romney-Ryan would not be standing in the way of these sanctions; a Romney-Ryan administration would have been leading the imposition of these sanctions,” he said about Iran.
Ryan was roundly praised by a panel of commentators appearing on Baier’s show, who commended his youth and straight-talking ways and called him the future of the Republican Party. They asked him whether he was perhaps too young to be vice president. Ryan replied: “I have more experience that President Obama did coming into office. People know who I am.”
Ryan also gave a shout-out to fellow deficit hawk Ron Paul, calling him a friend.
“I think in the final analysis, he and his supporters should be very comfortable with us,” he said.
Ryan heads to Tampa on Tuesday morning, and will deliver his speech Wednesday evening. He’s having fun, he said.
“It’s been a lot less stressful and a lot more fun than I anticipated,” he said. “It’s been a real pleasant surprise.”
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