Just one week after Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate, ABC7 news reporter Rebecca Cooper landed an interview with the Wisconsin representative. The one-on-one aired Saturday.
Cooper asked Ryan fairly standard questions about the economy, the federal budget and life on the campaign trail. At the end she asked what Ryan, whose father died when he was 16, imagined his dad might have have thought. Ryan said he “almost choked up” the day before when he met with a Catholic priest who told him his father was “smiling down from heaven.” Ryan told Cooper she, too, was going to get him “all choked up.” Cooper went on anyway. “Is there one moment you wish he could see this week?” she asked. “You know, I know he’s up there,” Ryan quickly responded.
“I definitely wasn’t trying to make him cry,” Cooper told FBDC. She said she simply noted “this was quite an incredible week” for Ryan and imagined he must have wondered what his father would have thought. Cooper, who admitted it only takes a rerun of Little House on the Prairie to cue her own tears, said she could tell Ryan isn’t someone who cries easily. “I’m a crier. [Speaker] John Boehner’s a crier. Ryan’s definitely not,” she said.
Cooper said despite it being the early stages of Ryan’s candidacy (“They don’t want any Joe Biden moments”), his handlers were very comfortable with the candidate doing an interview with her. She said ABC7 was allotted five minutes to do the interview but the campaign let it go for 12. “They’re totally comfortable with him,” she said.
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