The Republicans' best chance at taking back the White House and the Senate is to run an affirmative campaign against President Obama, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said today.
"We owe the country a very clear choice," the chairman of the House Committee on the Budget told reporters at a briefing in Washington, D.C. "If we have that kind of an election, an affirming election, I feel that's our best chance to break this log jam and get things done."
Ryan said Republicans owe the country more than a win "by default," that a set of alternative policy solutions are necessary.
"We simply can't try and win this thing by default, by running against all the bad news or the things that contribute to this president's unpopularity," he said. "We owe the country more than that. We owe them an alternative."
Ryan, who has been committee chairman since the Republicans took control of the house in 2010, called the budget proposal put forth by President Obama earlier this week "extremely disappointing."
"This budget's basically a campaign document," Ryan said.
Ryan, 42, used today's briefing to talk about the importance of fostering a bipartisan spirit within Congress, citing the work he did with Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden on Medicare and health care commonly referred to as the Wyden-Ryan plan. Ryan said he frequently works with other Democrats, in addition to the public work he has done with Wyden, but he did not offer names.
Ryan, who has long been one of his party's most influential voices on fiscal policy, is sometimes cited as a potential vice presidential pick. When asked by ABC News whether he was open to joining the ticket, he left the door open, although insisting he's not thinking about it right now.
"That's somebody else's decision," he said. "It's a long time out, so what's the point of thinking about that? I'd cross that bridge when I got to it, if it ever came."