Speaker of the House Paul Ryan says that he and President Barack Obama will have “one heck of a contrast” in the coming year but that he hopes the pair will find some areas of common ground.
“We don’t agree on much. We see things differently,” Ryan told NBC’s Chuck Todd in an exclusive interview taped Friday at the Capitol.
“What we will probably try to do is, where we can get things done, where we can find common ground without compromising principles, get those things done,” the newly-minted speaker added. “Make sure that government works. But we're going to have one heck of a contrast in 2016.”
Ryan said that he has not yet had a formal one-on-one meeting with the president but that Obama has invited him to share a meal with him next year. Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman and the Republican Party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, took on the House’s top job in October.
The House Speaker made the comments shortly after Congress easily approved a $1.1 trillion government spending bill, which both sides described as compromise legislation.
In his end-of-year press conference, President Barack Obama also highlighted his differences with Ryan but said they have worked well during Ryan’s tenure wielding the gavel.
“He has been professional. He has reached out to tell me what he can do and what he cannot do. I think it’s a good working relationship,” Obama said of Ryan, saying that he deserves “kudos” for his work on budget issues so far.
“We recognize that we disagree on a whole bunch of other stuff, and have fundamentally different visions for where we want the country to go,” the president said, adding that the Wisconsin lawmaker is nonetheless “respectful of the process and respectful of how legislation works.”
The full interview will be aired on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, December 20.