U.S. Rep Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee in 2012, said Sunday the election outcome suggests his party must "expand our appeal."
In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," his first Sunday talk show interview since the November election, Ryan said raising federal revenues is "behind us" and expressed doubt President Barack Obama "thinks we actually have a fiscal crisis."
He said "I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now" if former President Bill Clinton and former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles were in the White House.
Asked what he thought was the major lesson for Republicans after losing the presidential election and losing House and Senate seats, Ryan said: "Well, we obviously have to expand our appeal. We have to expand our appeal to more people and somehow how we'll take the country's founding principles and apply them to the problems of the deal to offer solutions to fix our problems."
While stopping short of saying he opposes any new federal revenue from tax reform, Ryan said Obama "got his additional revenues. So that's behind us."
Ryan -- chairman of the House Budget Committee -- said Washington needs "to focus on getting spending down" but he said the president seems less focused on the debt and more interested in "political ends, you know [the 2014 election] versus actually moving to the middle."
"Well, I don't think that the president thinks we actually have a fiscal crisis," Ryan said.
He said if the United States "had a Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles, chief staff of the White House or president of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now. That's not the kind of presidency we're dealing with right now."
Ryan conceded "both parties got us to the mess we are in, this fiscal crisis." and both parties need to solve it.
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