Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan gave his fellow House Republicans a pep talk during a closed-door meeting Thursday, seeking to calm their nerves amid recent speculation that the presidential race is slipping away from Mitt Romney.
The House budget chief vowed that the efforts he and his Republican have undertaken since taking over the chamber last year will elevate the Romney-Ryan ticket in the remaining weeks. But the consequence of all those controversial votes, Ryan suggested to GOP members, is that the election will be a choice between two different visions for the country. That’s a far cry from the referendum on President Obama’s leadership that Republicans had hoped to make the election about.
“We are going to win this thing,” Ryan assured them, according to a Republican aide in the room. “This is going to be an up and down race. Three polls came out that have us within one point. They are going to try to distract us.”
“They will try to make this about little things. We have taken all the tough votes and led,” he told House colleagues in the private meeting. “Here’s our commitment: we are going to make this about the big things. We need to go on offense and we need to give our constituents the choice of two futures.”
The conference gave Ryan a standing ovation at the end, the source told TPM.
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.