The Washington Post

Paul Ryan: ‘I don’t have a racist bone in my body’

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in an interview Tuesday that he spoke to Congressional Black Caucus member Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and that Lee knows that he "doesn't have a racist bone in my body."

The phone call came after some controversy over Ryan's remark that some in the inner city don't have the desire to work because it's not a part of the culture. Lee was among Ryan's chief critics, calling the remark a "thinly veiled racial attack.”

Ryan said in an interview set to air on the "O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News Tuesday night that he spoke to Lee and she knows him better than that.

“She does not believe that I have these views," the potential 2016 presidential candidate said, according to advance remarks from the interview. "She knows me well and she knows that I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”

Ryan added that Lee didn't apologize to him but said he's not mad at her.

"I’m a big boy," Ryan said. "I understand that if you challenge the status quo, that if you get into these issues, sometimes you will be misinterpreted. But also I really believe that we have to have a real conversation about how to fix these things without throwing these charges at people.”

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Play Videos
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
The rise and fall of baseball cards
How to keep your child safe in the water
Play Videos
'Did you fall from heaven?': D.C.'s pick-up lines
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
How to get organized for back to school
How to buy a car via e-mail
The signature drink of New Orleans
Next Story
Katie Zezima · March 25, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.