During an event in his home district, Representative Paul Ryan was confronted by an African-American constituent who told him his comments about the culture in “inner cities” carried racist overtones.
The congressman said “there was nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all. It had nothing to do with race.”
There appears to have been some back-and-forth between Ryan and Gardner, which the liberal organization ThinkProgress edited out of the video it recorded. “Sometimes when you’re on radio you try to take a bunch of ideas and collapse it into a couple sentences and you oversimplify, and it can be misinterpreted, that’s what’s happened here,” Ryan said.
ThinkProgress happened to catch up with Gardner after the event, and he stood by his criticisms. “He’s out here shucking and jiving,” he told the organization. “He’s been in Congress eight terms and just now talking about poverty?”