Newt Gingrich reflects on speaker Paul Ryan - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Newt Gingrich reflects on speaker Paul Ryan

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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says Paul Ryan is the best man for the job in Washington, following former speaker John Boehner's resignation from the position in October.

"He's the youngest speaker since 1869, he's very smart and very hardworking," Gingrich said. "I think he will bring discipline and a methodical approach to the speaker ship."

Gingrich was the 50th Speaker of the House in 1995, under former president Bill Clinton. He resigned in November of 1998 following a controversy and later resigned from the House completely in January of 1999.

Unlike Gingrich, Ryan is encountering a divided Congress--especially within his own party.
 "He is going to have challenges on his right with his hardliners," Gingrich said. But he has really great skills, he's a much better communicator than the last several speakers and he's a much more focused policy guy."

UWL Political Science professor Tim Dale said Ryan could create a disruption within the Republican party in his dealings with President Obama.

"Every compromise he makes with the president is going to put him in bad standing with some members of his party and every time he doesn't compromise, that's going to put him in bad standing with others," Dale said.

Both Gingrich and Dale agree that to become an effective speaker, Ryan must act as a uniting force, both within his own party and with the Democrats.

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