On a visit to campus on September 26, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan visited with students and faculty and shared his views during a
public Q&A with La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee as part of the school’s Policymaker in Residence speaker series.
Throughout the day, Ryan discussed how to bridge political divides, strategies and policies that could help strengthen the U.S. economy, predictions about the upcoming presidential election, and reforming social safety net programs, among other topics.
The event was funded by the
Kohl Initiative and American Family Insurance. Photos by Focal Flame Photography.
Paul Ryan meets Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin. Ryan told the chancellor that UW–Madison is a “crown jewel” of the state and said he’s been Badger football fan since he was a small child.
During a meet and greet with La Follette School graduate students, Ryan discussed his career path and answered student questions about policy issues, the economy, the role of media in policymaking, and bridging political divides. “My advice is to find common ground where it is and find where in your life you can contribute,” Ryan told the students.
Ryan makes a point; to his right is Carlos Puga, La Follette School Student Association president.
Asked how he would advise young people to facilitate conversations across ideological divides, Ryan urged students to focus on facts and principles rather than emotion and division, and to spend less time engaging with social media that reinforce their existing biases. “Get out of your cocoon, spend time with people who do not look or think like you, and do not impugn people’s motives,” Ryan said.
During his visit, Ryan sat down with Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman.
Ryan talks with a group of students and staff during a reception before his public presentation.
Representative David Murphy (left) chats with Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin (right) during the reception.
Reception attendees pose for a photo with Paul Ryan.
Paul Ryan speaks to the group at the reception.
La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee speaks with Ryan during a Q&A event at Shannon Hall in Memorial Union. “For all of our country’s problems — the solutions are within our own power to solve,” Ryan said.
“If you get us past the ideological stalemates, this partisan bitterness, we can have a debate on facts using economics, control trials, data and analytics,” Ryan said. “Then we can forget about all the name calling, all the ideological warfare, and just focus on what works and what doesn’t.”
“We have what we need to do to regenerate our country right here in our country,” Ryan said during the public Q&A. “So, I’m actually pretty bullish about it if we get our politics right.”
To see more photos, view the La Follette School’s
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