Repub Paul Ryan Suddenly Does Not Embrace Ayn Rand's Teachings

Posted in the Columbus Forum

jen bendery

Livingston, TN

#2 Apr 28, 2012
Jennifer Bendery
jen.bendery@huffingtonpost.com

Paul Ryan Suddenly Does Not Embrace Ayn Rand's Teachings
Posted: 04/27/2012 4:17 pm Updated: 04/27/2012 5:36 pm

WASHINGTON --...Well ... I try to make my interns read it. He noted that he "looked into" Rand's work when he was younger, but reiterated that he is a Christian and reads the Bible often.

In 2009, Ryan posted two videos on his Facebook page raving about the importance of Rand's views.

"If 'Atlas Shrugged' author Ayn Rand were alive today, here's the urgent message I think she'd be conveying," Ryan wrote alongside the first video, titled "Ayn Rand's relevance in 2009."

He says in the video:

What's unique about what's happening today in government, in the world, in America, is it's as if we're living in an Ayn Rand novel right now. I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build the moral case for capitalism. And that morality of capitalism is under assault. And we are going to replace it with a crony capitalism, collectivist, government-run system which is creeping its way into government. And so if Ayn Rand were here today, I think she would do a great job in showing us just how wrong what government is doing is. Not the quantitative analysis, not the numbers, but the morality of what is wrong with what government is doing today.
In the second video, titled "Ayn Rand & 2009 America, Part 2," Ryan says it doesn't surprise him that sales of "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" have "surged" since President Barack Obama took office.

"It's that kind of thinking, that kind of writing, that is sorely needed right now. And I think a lot of people would observe that we are living in an Ayn Rand novel right now, metaphorically speaking," Ryan says. "The attack on Democratic capitalism, on individualism and freedom in America is an attack on the moral foundation of America. And Ayn Rand more than anyone else did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism. This, to me, is what matters most."

Some of Ryan's critics took a shot at him for suddenly distancing himself from Rand.

"Not pure enough on entitlement cuts @philipaklein @robertcostaNRO Paul Ryan on Ayn Rand:'I reject her philosophy,'" Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, tweeted Thursday.

UPDATE: 5:14 p.m.-- Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert downplayed the lawmaker's apparent change of tune on Rand.

"I wouldn't make too much of this one way or another. Congressman Ryan was not 'distancing himself' from Rand, merely correcting several false storylines that are out there, such as the myth that he requires all of his staffers to read Atlas Shrugged. Saying he 'rejects Ayn Rand's philosophy' was simply meant to correct a popular falsehood that Congressman Ryan is an Objectivist -- he isn't now and never claimed to be," Seifert said in a statement to The Huffington Post.

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