POLITICS

Paul Ryan On Conservative Criticism Of Mitt Romney: It's In Their Nature To Complain

09/24/2012 11:28 am ET | Updated Sep 24, 2012

GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hit back against conservative critics of the GOP ticket in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Saturday night.

"A, we still have a ways to go. We still have a lot left that we're planning on doing," he said. "B, I think that's just what conservatives do by nature. I think that's just the nature of conservative punditry is to do that -- to kind of complain -- about any imperfection they might see."

It was a less harsh rebuke than that by Ann Romney, who told critics to "stop it," but the criticism was still striking for the Wisconsin congressman, who has cultivated strong relationships with conservative pundits.

The Romney-Ryan ticket has come under criticism from conservative pundits as the campaign tries to get past the damage done by the former Massachusetts governor's leaked comments at a May fundraiser, where he said that 47 percent of Americans are "dependent on government" and see themselves as "victims" because they don't pay income tax. Peggy Noonan, from her perch at the Wall Street Journal, has called for an "intervention." Michael Gerson of the Washington Post said the Republican ideology of the "makers" versus "takers" -- a phrase Ryan coined -- "offers nothing." Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard called Romney's remarks "arrogant and stupid."

Ryan said that Romney's selection of himself for vice presidential nominee refuted the charge that Romney's campaign has been too vague. Ryan described himself as "the guy with all the specifics, who's put out all these solutions on the table. It shows you very clearly Mitt Romney's not afraid of making big decisions, making tough decisions, putting specifics out there."

On criticism from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who said more of Ryan needs to "rub off" on Romney, Ryan said, "Look, Scott's my friend. He's just an advocate. He's just always going to be going to bat for me like that."

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