Paul Ryan loves Ayn Rand. Loves her. He has stated that Ayn Rand is required reading for everyone who works in his office.
Here are some choice quotes highlighted by Elspeth Reeve of The Atlantic Wire from Mitt Romney's new vice-presidential running mate on Ayn Rand:
• "I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we're engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand, that's what I tell people."
• "I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are."
• "It's inspired me so much that it's required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There's a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well."
• "But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand."
• "And when you look at the twentieth-century experiment with collectivism -- that Ayn Rand, more than anybody else, did such a good job of articulating the pitfalls of statism and collectivism -- you can't find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand."
• "It's so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand's vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are."
• "Because there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand's writings and works."
And here are some more:
• He told Insight on the News on May 24, 1999, that the books he most often rereads are "The Bible, Friedrich von Hayek's The Road to Serfdom and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged."
• He told the Weekly Standard on March 17, 2003, "I give out Atlas Shrugged as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well... I try to make my interns read it."
• At a February 28, 2009 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Ryan said Obama was trying "to use this [financial] crisis to move America toward the sort of Europeanized economy... Sounds like something right out of an Ayn Rand novel."
Of course, once Ryan began angling for the veep-slot he had to say that he "rejects her philosophy," and even threw in, as he must given the sway of religious conservatives in his party, his condemnation of Rand's "atheist philosophy." He went so far as to call the idea that he's a Rand fanboy an "urban legend."
So, not only is Paul Ryan a devotee of Ayn Rand, he's also a bald-faced liar.