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Mike Allen: White House Would Like Paul Ryan As Speaker

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Politico’s Mike Allen thinks President Barack Obama likes the idea of Paul Ryan for Speaker.

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“The White House would like that idea,” Allen said during an interview with Laura Ingraham on her radio show today. “Because they would like one more win … what they’ve always told me is that they admire Paul Ryan for being a substantive, smart guy.”

Speaking to business leaders in Washington D.C. last month, Obama acknowledged that his administration was working with Ryan to negotiate some level of tax reform, even though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell disagreed.

“To his credit, Paul Ryan expressed real interest in discussions and negotiations,” Obama said during his remarks to the Business Roundtable Headquarters in September.

But the administration’s relationship with Ryan wasn’t always so close, especially after he challenged Obama on health reform during a 2010 public forum.

Ryan’s wonky numerical dismantling of Obamacare made Obama noticeably irritated during the bi-partisan Congressional conversation. His speech became a viral moment for the Wisconsin congressman among many conservatives.

But with Republicans in the majority, Ryan worked hard to find common ground with Democrats and prove that Republicans were ready to work together. That kind of work was celebrated by establishment Republicans and earned Ryan begrudging respect from the White House.

The White House frequently refers favorably to the budget agreement Ryan reached with Senator Patty Murray in 2013, when Democrats still controlled the Senate.

Ryan’s ability to ward off a government shutdown for two years, led the Obama team to respect Ryan – even though they disagreed with him on politics.

Last month, White House press secretary Josh Earnest used the Ryan deal as an example of what they wanted in 2015 – including the removal of sequester cuts.

“Congress needs to arrive at the kind of bipartisan budget agreement that was reached by Senator Murray and Chairman Paul Ryan from the House that essentially raised the sequester caps to ensure that those priorities were adequately funded,” Earnest told reporters on September 30.

Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew also teamed up with Ryan in July to discuss infrastructure spending.


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