Ryan: 'Wonk' Is A compliment

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
In a previous, post-election interview with ABC News, Boehner said he didn

Paul Ryan

(CNN) – With the presidential campaign ended, Rep. Paul Ryan is back in Washington and happy to trade the title "Republican vice presidential candidate" for the role of "wonk."

That's how House Speaker John Boehner recently described the House Budget Committee chairman, and in an interview on Tuesday, Ryan said he thinks it "a great compliment."

"I've always been one of the House policy wonks," Ryan said in an interview with ABC News.

In a previous, post-election interview, also with ABC News, Boehner said he didn't see Ryan stepping off of the GOP presidential ticket and becoming the party's de facto leader.

"Paul Ryan's a policy wonk," said Boehner, the nation's top-ranking elected Republican who added that Ryan could be viewed as a significant Republican Party leader.

"He's involved in the cause of trying to bring us pro-growth economic agendas for America and making sure that we're doing this in a fiscally responsible way," Boehner said.

For his part, Ryan said he doesn't see any one individual as head of the party.

"I don't think that we have one person who's a leader," Ryan said. "We shouldn't have just one person that's a leader of the Republican Party. It's decentralized. We have a lot of great talent in this party. We have a lot of talented people that are gonna be offering their ideas."

The Wisconsin Republican will presumably have his hands full, as lawmakers look for a solution to the approaching so-called fiscal cliff, a collection of tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect in the new year barring a congressional compromise to stave it off.

Economists predict a plunge off of the fiscal cliff would plunge the U.S. economy back into recession.

As to his possible future as the leader of the Republican Party, Ryan offered the same answer on Tuesday as he had earlier in interviews with local Wisconsin newspapers: a hypothetical 2016 presidential run would be years away.

"Aren't you tired of presidential politics? I know I am," he said. "Let's just deal with one thing at a time. I've got to think people are a little sick of hearing about presidential speculation after we just finished this presidential campaign."

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