Ryan’s Favorite President: Madison; Least Favorite: Obama

WASHINGTON (CQ-Roll Call/TNS) -
President Barack Obama standing with House Speaker Paul Ryan in Emancipation Hall on Capitol Hill on Dec. 9, 2015, during an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama standing with House Speaker Paul Ryan in Emancipation Hall on Capitol Hill on Dec. 9, 2015, during an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan celebrated Presidents Day by releasing a video discussing his favorite president, James Madison, and his least favorite, Barack Obama.

“James Madison was the father of our Constitution; James Madison is the one who came up with the separation of powers,” Ryan, R-Wis., said, explaining why the fourth president of the United States is his favorite.

“As speaker of the House, I’m extra sensitive and more attune to the fact that the legislative branch of government has atrophy, our powers have atrophy,” Ryan added, “and as a result of that, the executive branch of government has taken on too much power and has stretched and exceeded its limits.”

Madison, the speaker explained, reminds him of the importance of reclaiming the checks and balances of government “so that we can get us back on our axis, so that we can have limited government, self determination, government by consent.”

A statue of former President James Madison is shown in front of a mural of the Constitution in the education center at Montpelier, Madison's home, in Orange, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
A statue of former President James Madison is shown in front of a mural of the Constitution in the education center at Montpelier, Madison’s home, in Orange, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Asked who his least favorite president is, Ryan said, “Well obviously I’m no fan of Barack Obama’s. He’s my least favorite president. But I think Woodrow Wilson is pretty high up there as well.”

Wilson, the 28th president, was a Democrat who is considered one of the leaders of the progressive movement. Ryan frequently dings Obama for being a liberal progressive. The Presidents’ Day video closes with the speaker saying, “I think Barack Obama sees his great project as building on that work from Woodrow Wilson on.”