TRANSCRIPT: BRIAN WILLIAMS’ INTERVIEW WITH REP. PAUL RYAN

NBC News

AUGUST 30, 2012 — Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) sat down with NBC’s Brian Williams at the site of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL for an interview to air tonight on “NBC Nightly News.”

Transcript is below; video will be available online at www.nbcnightlynews.com after 6:30pm ET.

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MANDATORY CREDIT: NBC NEWS

BRIAN WILLIAMS:
A lot of your speech was devoted to leadership. That could also be construed as ownership. Are you prepared to leave this gathering and own the fact that the platform of this party allows a woman who has been raped no exception but to carry that child to term?

PAUL RYAN:
Well, I think the platform is– is silent on that particular issue. Mitt Romney has a position on this. The president of the United States sets the policy. And Mitt Romney’s position is that there are exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother.

BRIAN WILLIAMS:
There’s no exception in the platform.

PAUL RYAN:
Well, I think the platform’s silent either one way or the other on that. The platform– of which I think is a great document. I’m proud of the platform– it’s something that produced by the delegates, and the president of the United States sets policy on this issue. And Mitt Romney’s policy is well known.

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BRIAN WILLIAMS:
Well, I ask about this because it’s the third cycle now where there’s a disconnect between the platform and the candidate running. And in a business where you and your opponent are trying to attract especially suburban women. Does it send the right message?

PAUL RYAN:
You know, I think what suburban women are mostly worried about is jobs. I mean, look who got hit hardest in this economy. It’s women. Poverty among women is at a 17-year high. Women are worried about the education of their children, they’re worried about economic growth and opportunity. They’re worried about the fact that we’re mortgaging their kids’ futures. So, that’s what most women are asking us about.

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BRIAN WILLIAMS:
On the GM plant — I know the plant is a big deal. Famously, however, Mitt Romney, the son of Detroit, had a choice and said that he disagreed with efforts to prop up the domestic auto industry. That would’ve saved the plant in your local town.

PAUL RYAN:
Well, I think really what got the plant was $4 gas. A lack of an energy policy, and that– that predates the Obama years. We need a better energy policy in this country. But what Mitt Romney has said is he didn’t say no support for Detroit. He said that, “Detroit should go through a managed bankruptcy.” And the back end of that bankruptcy after a restructuring, then they should get support.

BRIAN WILLIAMS:
But there was no money for restructuring. There was no managed bankruptcy. It wasn’t in the realm of the policy.

PAUL RYAN:
Well, we had a political bankruptcy. And what– what happened was the Obama administration put themselves in the position to pick winners and losers. And I don’t think that was one that was– in keeping with the rule of law. But the point about the plant in my hometown, President Obama came there and campaigned in the plant in 2008. And he said, “This plant will be here for another 100 years.” He got elected. He put his policies in place. The plant’s empty. Nobody works there anymore.

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BRIAN WILLIAMS:
Tell us about tonight’s speech?

PAUL RYAN:
It’s going to be a speech where Mitt Romney picks up where we left off, and says, “Here’s how we’re going to get people back to work. Here are my plans for getting higher take home pay, more jobs. We got to get this debt under control. It’s going to take leadership. It’s going to take an executive leadership.” And he has those kind of skills.

It’s also going to be a speech where people get to know the man, Mitt Romney better. I wish people had the opportunity to meet him like I know him. Because I really believe they’ll see the qualities, the decency and the goodness in this person. And what Mitt Romney’s going to do is– is show himself who he is, the kind of character he is, what motivates him to the country that I think he’s going to be leading in January.

BRIAN WILLIAMS:
With due respect, he’s been running for six years, why don’t we know him?

PAUL RYAN:
Well, he hasn’t given this kind of a speech before.

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TRANSCRIPT: BRIAN WILLIAMS’ INTERVIEW WITH REP. PAUL RYAN