House Speaker Paul Ryan said the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, is his favorite commander in chief during a video interview released Monday for Presidents Day.
The Wisconsin Republican said that while he is a big fan of Abraham Lincoln, it is the founder of the Constitution he has recently been thinking about most.
“James Madison is the one who came up with the separation of powers. As speaker of the House, I’m extra sensitive and more attuned to the fact that the legislative branch of government has atrophied, our powers have atrophied and as a result that the executive branch has taken on too much power, has stretched and exceeded its limits,” he said. “So by thinking of James Madison as my favorite founder for the moment, I keep thinking about what is it we can do to reclaim the power of the purse, reclaim the separation of powers and the checks and balances so that we can get us back on our axis, so that we can have limited government, self-determination, government by consent.”
When it comes to his least favorite president, Ryan listed the country’s current leader — but the 28th president was not far behind.
“Well, obviously, I’m no fan of Barack Obama. He’s my least favorite president. But I think Woodrow Wilson is pretty high up there as well, and I think Barack Obama sees his great project as building on that work from Woodrow Wilson on.”
Wilson, a Democrat, was not a strong believer in separation of powers or the Constitution.
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