President Obama told journalist Bob Woodward that when he gave a speech last year ripping into Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, he didn’t know the Republican congressman was going to be in the audience.
“I did feel, in retrospect, had I known – we literally didn’t know he was going to be there until – or I didn’t know, until I arrived. I might have modified some of it so that we would leave more negotiations open, because I do think that they felt like we were trying to embarrass him,” Obama said, according to audio given to ABC News. “We made a mistake.”
The White House said in February that Ryan’s appearance was a surprise. Ryan’s office disputes that account. ”Chairman Ryan was invited by the White House. Ryan RSVP’d in the affirmative to the White House, and he was given his seating assignment by the White House,” spokesman Conor Sweeney told The Hill.