The interview took a tense turn when WJRT’s Terry Camp asked Ryan if the United States has a gun problem. Ryan said the country has a “crime problem” and noted that gun laws “aren’t properly enforced.” He went on to advocate crime prevention in another way:
Ryan: The best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity in the inner cities, is to help people get [inaudible] in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline, good character. That is civil society. That’s what charities and civic groups and churches do to help one another make sure that they can realize the value in one another.
Camp: And you can do all that by cutting taxes? With a big tax cut?
Ryan: Those are your words, not mine.
At that point in the interview, a Ryan aide can be heard in the background ending the interview, saying, “Thank you very much, sir.” Both Camp and Ryan stood up.
“That was kind of strange,” Ryan said to Camp as he unhooked his microphone. “You’re trying to stuff words in people’s mouths.”
“Well … I don’t know if that’s strange,” Camp responded, as someone attempts to block the camera from capturing the exchange with a piece of paper.
The video was up on WJRT’s website briefly, but was later removed, ABC News reports.
Brendan Buck, a spokesperson for Ryan, told BuzzFeed:
The reporter knew he was already well over the allotted time for the interview when he decided to ask a weird question relating gun violence to tax cuts Ryan responded as anyone would in such a strange situation. When you do nearly 200 interviews in a couple months, eventually you’re going to see a local reporter embarrass himself.