Paul Ryan on Past Comments About the Poor: ‘I Was Just Wrong’

By the Web Editors 3-23-2016
Screenshot via Speaker Paul Ryan / Youtube

While Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s speech to a committee room full of interns on March 23 focused on restoring civility to political discourse, the speech also contained a surprising twist.

Ryan, who has previously endorsed the writings of Ayn Rand, admitted, “I’m certainly not going to stand here and tell you I have always met this standard” of civility.

So, in an act of practicing what you preach, Ryan went on to address how he has spoken about people on government benefits:

"There was a time when I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized I was wrong. 'Takers' wasn’t how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, just trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent. And to label a whole group of Americans that way was wrong. I shouldn’t castigate a large group of Americans to make a point.

"So I stopped thinking about it that way—and talking about it that way. But I didn’t come out and say all this to be politically correct. I was just wrong."

Watch the full video of his remarks here:

Don't Miss a Story!

Get Sojourners delivered straight to your inbox.

Have Something to Say?

Add or Read Comments on
"Paul Ryan on Past Comments About the Poor: ‘I Was Just Wrong’"
Launch Comments
By commenting here, I agree to abide by the Sojourners Comment Community Covenant guidelines

Must Reads

Subscribe