The Fine Print
As the bipartisan budget bill heads toward passage as soon as today in the Senate, Paul Ryan, the top Republican who brokered the deal, said he's not worried that his political future will be tainted by the agreement.
“If you want to get things done, you have to be willing to be criticized from everybody,” Ryan told “The Fine Print.”
The budget accord, reached between Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, is expected to clear its final hurdle in the Senate, even though Republicans have voiced deep objections. But Ryan said he was unfazed by the criticism, saying “my job is not to cloud my judgment with personal ambition.”
“People always say, ‘well, this could hurt you with your future ambitions,’” Ryan said. “If I'm not good at this job, why should I ask somebody for another job?”
“If I have to do things to stop myself from doing what I think is right to become president, then I don't want to become president,” added Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and the party's 2012 vice presidential nominee.
When asked directly whether he is planning a presidential bid in 2016, Ryan said he hasn’t made a decision yet.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I will think about it. It’s in the back of my mind. I'll think about it later.”
In responding to prominent tea party leaders such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who have criticized the budget deal for not doing enough to cut spending, Ryan defended the bipartisan compromise as a “step in the right direction.”
“The way I look at this is you're not always going to get what you want every time in divided government,” he said. “Republicans don't run everything. We're the minority party right now, so you have to find a way to work with the other side of the aisle to make this government work.”
Despite the tea party’s strong opposition to the budget deal he co-authored, Ryan said he believes the conservative wing is a “good element” in the Republican Party.
Ryan also discussed the months-long process of crafting an agreement with Sen. Murray and revealed that there was one area of constant common ground throughout their many meetings: a shared admiration for a certain NFL football player.
“The one thing we have in common is we both like Russell Wilson,” Ryan said. “He played for Wisconsin, and now he's the Seahawks quarterback and he's doing really well. … We don't like the Seahawks, we like Russell Wilson.”
For more of the interview with Ryan, including what he thinks the GOP learned from the government shutdown, check out this episode of “The Fine Print.”
ABC News’ Robin Gradison, John Parkinson, Alexandra Dukakis, Gary Westphalen, John Bullard and John Knott contributed to this episode.