'This Week' Transcript: Rep. Paul Ryan



(CROSSTALK) RYAN: It's a sign of the times, I think. I think it's a sign of anxiety of the times. It's also a sign of the misinformation that's been perpetrated out there.

AMANPOUR (on-screen): Well, why do you say "misinformation"?

RYAN: Well, there are TV, radio and phone calls that are running, trying to scare seniors. You know, the Democratic National Committee is running phone calls to seniors in my district, TV ads, saying we're hurting current seniors when, in fact, that's not the case. And so there's a lot of...

AMANPOUR: Isn't that, though, par for the course?


AMANPOUR: I mean, didn't you lot do it the last time?

RYAN: Yes, Republicans -- Republicans -- both parties do this to each other. And my whole point about that is, that's why we have this political paralysis.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): On the day we joined him, the gym at Franklin High School fills up well before the congressman arrives.


AMANPOUR: Ryan's presentation is earnest and, it must be said, wonky.

RYAN: This pie chart shows you our federal government, basically its budget for last year.

AMANPOUR: The most controversial aspect of Paul Ryan's budget plan would transform Medicare. He knows that could be political poison with seniors, and so he makes sure to remind those in the crowd the changes wouldn't impact them.

RYAN: How many of you are 55 years of age or older? This budget does not affect your Medicare benefits.

AMANPOUR: But for many, that leaves more questions than answers, especially since budget watchdogs estimate the Medicare revamp would cost people who are now under 55 thousands of dollars out of pocket each year once their benefits kick in, and that has some here in Franklin very concerned.

(UNKNOWN): ... because it's going to be a real burden for them, especially with the economy coming up. And I think about all of the 54-year-olds who have been unemployed. Where are they going to come up with this money in 10 years to last their whole lifetime?

AMANPOUR: Ryan argues delay is not an option.

RYAN: Put these reforms in now, they don't take effect for 10 years to give people time to prepare. If we keep kicking the can down the road and if we keep going trillions of dollars deeper in the hole, then the reforms are going to be sudden, urgent, and severe, and immediate, and people won't have -- that are going to catch them by surprise.

AMANPOUR: Then the session ends...

RYAN: I appreciate you coming out.

AMANPOUR: ... and Congressman Ryan is off. I stayed back to speak with two of the women in the audience, Jackie (ph) and Lois (ph), each with very different perspectives on the congressman's plan.

(UNKNOWN): I don't appreciate it at all, and that burns my potatoes. And I think it's not fair. And I think it's selfish and self-centered. You're worried about the seniors of today, and we have the seniors of tomorrow. We need to be worried about them, too. And there's a better way of fixing this plan, this problem that we didn't get into, but we always got to be the ones.

AMANPOUR (on-screen): Did you vote for Paul Ryan?

(UNKNOWN): No. No.

AMANPOUR: Did you?


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Lois says Ryan is trying to fix the problem before time and money run out.

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