Paul Ryan's Demand for Family Time Sparks Debate

The Wisconsin Republican has issued ultimatums for time off to spend with his kids in his bid to become speaker of the House.
3:50 | 10/22/15

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Transcript for Paul Ryan's Demand for Family Time Sparks Debate
One of Washington's most powerful man take ace stand for family time. Paul Ryan says he will only be speaker of the house if it doesn't cost him weekends with his young kids. Linsey Davis has more on the conversation he sparked. Hi, linsey. Reporter: At just 16 years old Paul Ryan was profoundly affected by the death of his father. He says because his dad died at 55, his grandfather, 57 and his great-grandfather at 59 that it gives him a sense of how short life is and you have to make the most of it which is why he's drawing a line in the sand saying he doesn't want to work weekends. His words now rocketing around Washington. The last point, last point is personal. I cannot and I will not give up my family time. Reporter: Paul Ryan, a candidate to be the third most powerful person in Washington speaker of the house demanding a work/life balance so he can spend time with his family. It's a lifestyle that women have been fighting for for years. And now the man who could be two heartbeats away from presidency is shaking it up. For a woman to have said she wants more work-life balance I think she would be taken less seriously and coming from a man we see that it is positive. Reporter: Anne-marie slaughter who said women can't have it all and author of "Unfinished business" says his words are helping to shift the debate. This will help women as well as men because this will say that you can be committed to your family and still be committed to your career. And that's a very important statement. Reporter: On Wednesday, Sheryl Sandberg awarding Paul Ryan with the lean in award saying "Having leaders would weigh responsibilities as fathers as much as their responsibilities to their jobs shows us all of us what is possible" a month ago Paul Ryan had pretty much turned down the job. This is a job where you are expected to be on the road about a hundred delays a year. Our kids are 10, 12 and 13 and I'm not going to do that. Reporter: But now he's willing to try it out as long as his conditions are met. Conditions that not all his fellow republicans meet. Speaker has to work on weekends. The time commitment is not 40 hours a week. Reporter: Some of them look at his insistence on spending time with his family and his reluctance to take the job as negatives and they're saying, why should we give the job to someone who doesn't want the job. Reporter: Others are perhaps more understanding. Somebody who is so committed to making sure he's there for his children and family has opposed to his political future is part of the endearing quality of palmer. Reporter: Twitter on fire. One woman posting, oh, since Paul Ryan wants family time now it's up for discussion? Another writing, maybe now some sympathy for real working parents? His family has always been a central part of his life. Posting photos of his three children all over his instagram. But his voting record includes a vote against a bill that would have given federal employees four weeks of paid paternity leave. Some now suggesting that while Ryan seeks to preserve his own work life balances's pushed policies that would have made doing so more difficult for others. In addition to Ryan's gop caucus blocking president Obama attempt to mandate paid parental leave he proposes cuts for subsidies for low-income parents and it might be raising eyebrows. He said he wanted to be vice president of the United States. A job that you imagine cops with some weekend duty and then here's the question of if this had been a woman making these same conditions, would she have been lauded in the same way? That's a very good question. It is. Probably helps everyone and what made it work for him he was truly willing to walk away from a job. Yeah. I do think it is refreshing to see people in public put responsibilities of their family ahead of just pure ambition. Yes. Great job, thanks, linsey. Next up in the "Gma heat index," Elmo is getting a new

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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