Ryan Bristles at Local TV Reporter's "Weird" Question

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 9 2012 10:11 AM

Here's the Awkward End to Paul Ryan's Interview With a Local TV Reporter in Michigan

As you'll see in the video below, Paul Ryan's sit-down with a local TV reporter in Michigan yesterday came to a somewhat abrupt end after the reporter suggested that the Republican's only idea for curbing gun violence in inner cities was by imposing a "big tax cut."

During the awkward and combative exchange between Ryan and ABC 12's Terry Camp, a GOP staffer can be heard ending the interview with a curt, "Thank you very much, sir." Ryan then begins to unclip his mic, but nonetheless continues to speak with Camp, telling the reporter that he thought it was "kind of strange" that he was "trying to stuff words in people's mouths."

Democrats wasted little time jumping on the clip to bash Ryan and accuse him of walking out of the interview before it was over. "Do we really want someone a heart beat away from the presidency who can't handle a press question and storms off? Nice choice, Mr. Romney," said DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse in one of a series of tweets yesterday evening that criticized Ryan over how the interview ended.

Ryan's team responded with a statement saying that the interview was already running long by the time the reporter "decided to ask a weird question relating gun violence to tax cuts," adding that when "you do nearly 200 interviews in a couple months, eventually you’re going to see a local reporter embarrass himself."

The clip was originally posted on the ABC affiliate's website before being taken down (but not before it was uploaded to YouTube). Here it is:

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.