WASHINGTON -- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) guest-hosted Sean Hannity's radio program on Thursday in what could only be described as a bizarre promotional appearance for his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing The American Idea.
Anyone who called into the show was promised a free copy, and Ryan made sure to tie callers' concerns to his book, frequently directing them to read the book. For instance, when a caller asked him about defunding Obamacare, Ryan replied, "I talk about it in this book, The Way Forward -- exactly how we should repeal and replace Obamacare. We can do it. I believe the law is going to collapse under its own weight. I do think we can get a better way forward."
Another caller asked Ryan what can be done to give delinquent men incentives for hard work and good parenting. The caller explained that her ex-husband, a convict, has failed to support her and her family.
"This is exactly what I talk about in my book The Way Forward," he said. "There are solutions out there. Conservatives have better ideas."
Even a caller who claimed the media was biased against Republicans was directed to the book. According to Ryan, "This is one of the reasons I wrote a book."
Although Ryan has embarked on a nationwide book tour, sales have been slow. Only about 6,000 copies were sold in the book's first week on the shelves.
On Hannity's show, Ryan proposed reaching out to more young people as an electoral strategy, in response to a question from a caller. He railed against young liberals for embracing "a philosophy of liberal progressivism that takes their power and their money and their decisions away from them and gives them to an unelected class of bureaucrats."
"Take a look at their life today. They're used to customizing things in their lives. They're used to getting whatever they want when they want it. They go into Starbucks and get exactly the kind of coffee they want. When I was a kid, you just got a cup of coffee," he said. "Why on earth would they want to support a government philosophy that tells them how to run their lives?"
Other segments allowed Ryan to espouse his economic beliefs, a core element of his book.
"Are we going to follow the left and be crony capitalists, where you have big government and big business joining in a common cause to rig the rules and help the connected and stifle the small businessman, stifle the entrepreneur, stifle economic growth?" he asked one of his guests, Stephen Moore, chief economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Many callers used the opportunity to reiterate their support for the 2012 vice presidential candidate and potential 2016 contender. One explained that he voted for Ryan and Mitt Romney.
"Appreciate that! I hear that from slightly less than half of the people in this country, so thanks for that," Ryan said.
Luckily for his supporters, Ryan has no plans to quit his day job, acknowledging that he could not fill Hannity's shoes.
"This is Paul Ryan, doing my poor imitation of trying to be Sean Hannity," he said after a commercial break.
One caller from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was disappointed that she was unable to see him in person when he promoted his book in Tulsa this week.
"I wanted to see [those] beautiful blue eyes, very handsome congressman from Wisconsin," she swooned.