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Paul Ryan talks presidency run, foreign policy at Marquette

Rep.+Paul+Ryan+talks+with+%22On+the+Issues%22+host+Mike+Gousha+Monday+at+Eckstein+Hall.+Photo+by+Valeria+Cardenas+%2F+valeria.cardenas%40marquette.edu
Rep. Paul Ryan talks with

Rep. Paul Ryan talks with "On the Issues" host Mike Gousha Monday at Eckstein Hall. Photo by Valeria Cardenas / valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

Rep. Paul Ryan talks with "On the Issues" host Mike Gousha Monday at Eckstein Hall. Photo by Valeria Cardenas / valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) criticized President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and immigration reform, but also discussed why he didn’t chose to run in the 2016 election in Monday while joining “On the Issues” host Mike Gousha.

The session was a question and answer forum between Ryan and Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy. The floor was later opened up to questions from the audience.

Gousha started the session by asking Ryan about the 2016 presidential race.

“Why didn’t I run for president?” Ryan said. “It was an evolution of thinking over the last few years between Janna (his wife) and myself, knowing what opportunities I had in front of me, the ages of our children and knowing I could make an enormous difference by being chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”

Ryan also noted the importance of spending time with his children as they mature as reason for not running for president.

“They grow up once,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people who look like you guys tell me ‘I wish I spent more time with my kids.’”

Ryan then discussed the state of the nation’s international affairs. He emphasized working with other Muslim nations in response to the terrorist actions of groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS.

“We do not have a comprehensive strategy of dealing with radical Islamic terrorists. We need a comprehensive strategy of dealing with them,” Ryan said. “It should include working with moderate Muslim nations to work with us as partners. It also means having a comprehensive foreign strategy, which we don’t have.”

In addition, Ryan referenced the state of the U.S. military and offered his opinion on Obama’s foreign policy.

“It’s important for America to lead. Because if we don’t lead, other countries that do not share our values will lead,” Ryan said.

While Ryan was sometimes critical of Obama’s policies, he did offer positive words for the President’s trading policies.

“Trade is the one area where I think the President is finally breaking out and doing some good,” Ryan said.

Other topics Ryan covered were American views of the Republican party, the country’s window of opportunities and support for shorter primaries in the Republican party.

Questions from the audience ranged from Ryan’s personal thoughts on student debt to federal subsidies. The question he spent the most time answering was about U.S. immigration policy. He took several minutes to explain the issue’s complexities.

“People want a real quick answer, are you going to stop it or not? Well, it’s not that simple, I wish it were,” Ryan said. “The way to solve it is for Congress to actually do immigration reform, to pass bills and to fix this broken system.”

The “On The Issues Series,” according to its website, aims at inviting news makers and policy shapers to help the Marquette community learn more about local and national topics.

Upcoming speakers for the series include Paul Taylor, author of “The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown,” who will speak Feb. 17. Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki is scheduled to speak the following week on Feb. 23.

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