'This Week': Paul Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan responds to President Obama's State of the Union address and the GOP debate over immigration reform.
3:00 | 02/02/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': Paul Ryan
Now to the new troubles for the host governor of the super bowl, Chris Christie. Confronting poishlly explosive charges that he wasn't telling the whole truth at the marathon press conference on the bridge-gate scandal. Pushing back hard overnight, and Rita has the latest. Thousands of fans cheering their teams, but New Jersey governor Chris Christie getting jeers from the crowd Saturday. That speech is the same thing. Reporter: After a potentially explosive claim from a former ally, former port authority official, David wildstein who alleges that Christie knew about the lane closures that brought the George Washington bridge to a standstill. He wrote that evidence exists tying to show Mr. Christie had knowledge during the period. But he is fighting back, sending an e-mail to supporters Saturday, obtained by ABC news, attacking wild stein's background and credibility. The message concludes that he will do and save anything to save himself. And the statement repeats Christie's claim that he had no involvement in the lane Cloe Sures. I had no knowledge, the planning, execution. I found out about it after it was over. Reporter: But the investigation continues. On Monday, newly subpoenaed documents are expected to be turned over, examining the traffic scandal. While Christie has not been subpoenaed, much like the final score of tonight's game, his political future is still unknown. For "This week," Reena ninan, ABC news, New York. And now the top headline ewe are Paul Ryan. And now begin with the new charges against Chris Christie. The democrats have an online ad this morning. With all the investigations swirling around, are you confident he can continue to run the republican governor's association and be an effective spokesman for your party? I'm confident. He is a friend and fantastic governor. Now we have one person's word against another. You can't base a conclusion on such a thing. Unless something else is known or made clear, I don't see why you would change what's going on. He shouldn't step down. Nothing has been proven, and always give a person the benefit of the doubt in my judgment. Turn to the president's state of the union this week. He called for congress to act but made it clear he would use executive orders to advance his agenda. Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do. You have a tough reaction, saying he's circumventing the constitution. Do you think his proposals are unconstitutional? His rate of executive orders is far behind president Reagan, bush, Clinton. It's not the number of executive orders, it'sed scope. It's the fact that he's actually contradicting law, like in the health care case, or proposing new laws. That's the issue. An ningly lawless -- we have an increasingly lawless presidency where he's doing the job of congress, writing now policies and laws without going through congress. Presidents don't write laws, congress does. When he does like in health care, delaying mandates that the law said was supposed to secure, that's not his job. The job of congress is to change laws if he doesn't like them, not the presidency. Executive orders are one thing. But executive orders that actually change the statute, that's different. Bnkts. But if he's lawless, sir country venting the cushion, are you going to impeach? No, we have a difference of opinion. You have religious freedom going to the court this spring. But I'm concerned with the trend that if congress doesn't give me the law, I'm going to do it myself. That's not the way the constitution works. Sworn in, a president or a congressman, you swear to uphold the constitution. These are creating a dangerous trend temporary to the constitution. Listening to you and president Obama, you could have a meet of the minds on immigration, reach a compromise on immigration reform. One that opens a path to citizenship for the undocumented, but doesn't necessarily center a special path for the undocumented. But this talk of compromise unleashed a furious debate in your party. I want to show you what bill kristol wrote. He said bringing immigration to the floor has a circular firing squad instead of shooting together at obamacare and other big-government liberalism. There's no reason to act this year. Don't try. Your response? We don't know who's coming and going, interior enforcement. You talked about the Boston bombers. It's not a responsible thing to do. It's important you brought this up after the executive orders. All republicans agree that we don't trust the president to enforce the law. Look at the standards that the republican leadership put out, security first. First we have to secure the border, have interior enforcement, a worker verification system, a Visa tracking system, they have to be in law and in practice and independently verified before the rest of the law can occur. It's a nonamnesty approach. The other concern they don't want us in conference and compromise to a bad law. We won't that let that happen. We won't go to the kchbs with the senate. This is not an issue with a deadline, a government shutdown that forces us into a compromise we might not like to take. Here are our standards and approach, if you want to do it this way, this what we do. And we are having a debate about that. But we don't think that we can allow this border to continue to be overrun. And if we can get security first, no amnesty before anything happens, that's a good approach. This is not a trust and verify, this is a verify and trust approach. Can you put something on the president's desk this year he can sign? I don't know the answer to this a question. It's clearly in doubt. It depends on whether they're willing to actually secure the border, have interior enforcement and no amnesty. Security-first, no amnesty. We might be able to get somewhere. But I don't know if that's going to be the case. Let me ask about the debt limit, the president made it clear there's no way he's going to agree to anything but a clean debt limit. You and members of your caucus talking about attaching policy changes to the debt limit. Any reason to think it can succeed? It hasn't before. Well, we have had policies attached to the debt limit before. That's more the case than not. Whatever a president is, whoever's running congress, there is policy attached to the debt limit. That's not a new idea. We don't want to rubber stamp the increases without acknowledging the problem that got us into debt in the first place. The president never proposed to balance the budget, let alone pay off the debt. He has been fiscally reckless. We need to take steps in the right direction. And there are democrats who agree with us. What are those things we can do to step in the right direction with jobs, the economy, getting the deficit under control while we deal with it being out of control. President is not going to sign that. You made comments about pope Francis. You praised him for taking on the debate about poverty. But dismissed his critique of capital him. You said the guy is from Argentina. They haven't had real capitalism in Argentina. Was that too flip? No. They have crony capitalism in Arkansas ggenti Argentina. That's real exploitation. That's crony capitalism. We are starting to see it in America. What I'm excited about the pope's comments, he's inviting the debate, not settling it. And asking lay catholics how we would tackle the problems and stop higisolating the poor. He's starting a fantastic debate. If you look at comments closely, he talks about the welfare mentality. About the welfare state and how we have to avoid creating a welfare state. Bring the poor in, create upward mobile mobility, and free enterprise that gives opportunity to everybody in life and in America. That's what we are for. He's invited the debate. You don't think he'd endorse your budget, do you? Of course not. He's a pope. Popes don't endorse budgets. Popes say let's have a conversation about how to fix the broken status quo, how to bring the poor in, not have a welfare state and produce upward mobility. Popes don't endorse actual legislative changes or budgets. Congressman, thanks for your time. It's an interesting debate. Thank you. And up next, the powerhouse

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

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