How many more town halls will result in the following kind of confrontation between Paul Ryan and his fed up constituents about his recent attempt at race baiting? I've edited together 3 segments: Joy Reid's coverage on MSNBC, Luke Russert's more complete segment, and a clip where one constituent told Ryan he liked ObamaCare. Ryan then tried to sell him on taxpayer subsidies to insurers by paying for the sick, and leaving the profits to the insurers (transcript at bottom).
Think Progress pretty much sums it up:
Black Constituent Confronts Paul Ryan Over ‘Inner City’ Remarks: RACINE: If you could pinpoint the moment when Paul Ryan lost control of his message on Wednesday, it was when he began explaining to an African American constituent why his recent comments about lazy “inner city” men actually had nothing to do with race.
“You said what you meant,” Alfonso Gardner, a 61-year-old African American man from Racine, told Ryan at a town hall meeting. “[Inner city is] a code word for black.”
Ryan remained defiant though. “There is nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all,” he said. He admonished Gardner for drawing a connection between his “inner city” remarks and race. “I think when we throw these charges around, it should be based on something.”
ThinkProgress spoke with Gardner after the town hall to get his reaction. He said Ryan’s trying to have it both ways, saying different things to different people. “He’s out here shucking and jiving,” Gardner said. “He’s been in Congress eight terms and just now talking about poverty?”
Gardner isn’t the only constituent taking offense. ThinkProgress interviewed a number of Racine residents this week about Ryan’s statement. They were not amused with their congressman’s words.
In the video, Ryan told Gardner to read the next paragraph, which suggested some clarification. But PolitiFact offered up the entire transcript, in context, and nothing Ryan said changed his race baiting comments. Here's what Ryan said after his remarks:
Ryan: And produce. To just be -- I mean, achievement and accomplishment are so self-rewarding, it’s earned success, and that’s how people flourish when they feel the pride of succeeding and achieving a goal and they teach and pass those lessons on to their kids or to the kids they’re mentoring. And that is really what helps revitalize society and helps human flourishing, it helps people reach their potential. That’s the American idea. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote beautifully about this. We’re losing it in so many areas and we’ve got to get it back and each and every one of us has a role to play in that. (There’s a little banter between Bennett and Ryan.)Here's the transcript of the somewhat muddy audio of the satisfied ObamaCare constituent, and Ryan's taxpayer bailout to insurers, otherwise known as "risk pools:"
Ryan: What I find is the status quo is, right now, a poverty management system -- in many ways, to the benefit of the managers. And so when you question the status quo of the government’s poverty -- this war on poverty -- you get all the criticisms from the adherents of the status quo who just don’t want to see anything change. We’ve got to have the courage to face that down, just like we did in welfare reform in the late 1990s. And if we succeed, we can help resuscitate this culture and get people back to work and get people back to meeting their potential and so many things can get fixed and healed in our communities and in our economy, as well.
MARTINCIC: What Obama did was get this law passed. Whether it’s good, bad, or not, it got passed. It’s actually helping some people grow, helped this other guy [with] medication. The Republicans….By myself…I could actually…get some kind of subsidy, which would help me…
RYAN: With the ACA, one thing I want to say is we didn’t have 51 votes to repeal it altogether 51 times. I think that’s sort of like this urban legend that we said, ‘let’s repeal it.’ It’s like we did a repeal vote on the whole law. There are many pieces of this law that we’ve gone after—several of them that were made into law, so please know—I think even Democrats would acknowledge that there are a lot of problems with this law. And so we passed a lot of things changing this law—several of which were made into law—but I really do believe there’s a better way to do it than with this health care law.My argument is that I think there are better ways at dealing with these extremely important and legitimate problems, like people with preexisting conditions—this is why I’m a big fan of risk pools. We had the [??] system in Wisconsin—it worked well, and then it had the federal government attached to it, so it was even more affordable for people with preexisting conditions. That was one of our proposals. So I do think that there are better ways of fixing this problem—affordable coverage for everybody, including people with preexisting conditions that’s a lot better than [this law]. It’s going to hurt our hospitals, it’s going to hurt Medicare, it’s going to make people buy things they don’t want to buy.