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Ryan: GOP should choose battles carefully


UNDATED (WSAU)  House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Janesville says his fellow Republicans need to be smarter and more selective about the policy battles they choose to wage.

He plans to make that point tomorrow, when he and Governor Scott Walker speak to a conservative summit in Washington, put on by the National Review Institute. Ryan tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel there are a number of reasons that Republicans lost the White House and key Senate contests last November. They included quote, “getting distracted in petty partisan fights … and not speaking effectively to voters outside the party’s base.”

Ryan said Democrats were also able to cloud issues and affix views to Republicans that they didn’t have. He said he has quote, “no ill will whatsoever” toward President Obama – but he said Republicans still believe he’s more interested in “partisan conquest than bi-partisan compromise.” Ryan also said he needs to convince voters in his own district that he’s the same man he was before he was picked to be Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Ryan won his eighth term in Congress by his smallest margin ever, 12 points over Democrat Rob Zerban. He said more of his constituents slapped a party label on him, instead of seeing him as merely their representative.