In a closed meeting of House Republicans, and later to reporters, Ryan said Republicans need to come to grips with the fact that they are the only Republicans in power in Washington. In the closed legislative strategy session, he said the GOP should avoid overpromising and underdelivering, according to five sources present. Instead, House Republicans should work to control expectations about what they can extract from Obama, and then people will be pleased by the result.
“We have to also recognize the realities of divided government that we have,” Ryan told reporters gathered here in a golf course clubhouse. “And so while we aspire to give the country a very specific and clear vision about what we think is the right way to go on the major big issues of the time, we have to at the same time recognize the divided government moment that we have and the fiscal deadlines that are approaching, what those involve and then how we’re going to proceed forward.”
Ryan’s comments reflect the quiet chatter in leadership that Republicans need to better instill in their members the idea that besting Obama is a tall task.
It’s not a particularly novel idea, but it shows that Ryan’s passive public persona in the Capitol is simply a facade. He is still trying to lead Republicans behind the scenes, while he brushes off questions about his future publicly.
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