Gayle King to Paul Ryan: 'Some People Don't Think' the Country 'Needs Saving'

Open Obama supporter Gayle King made sure she got her liberal viewpoint across on Monday's CBS This Morning as she interviewed Rep. Paul Ryan. King spotlighted an excerpt from the congressman's new book: "You said, 'In order for the Republican Party to save the country' – some people don't think it needs saving, by the way – but you said the GOP has to change from within. What do you mean by that?" [MP3 audio available here; video below]

Norah O'Donnell later underlined a separate critique that the Wisconsin Republican made about his own party:

NORAH O'DONNELL: You've called your party 'lazy' and 'complacent' – that you're only reaching out to – you know, people like yourselves. Do you think there's agreement among other people in your party that that's the problem?"

Moments earlier, King connected the first part of the interview segment, which was about President Obama's handling of ISIS, to a discussion about Ryan's book, "The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea." She asked, "When you look at this situation, do you think, 'I wish that this was a job that we were doing; that the Republican Party was doing; that we were in charge?'"

The former vice presidential candidate admitted, "There are many moments, when I look down at my feet and shake my head saying, I can't believe we lost. I wish we would have won, because we would have done things a lot differently. Yeah, there are many moments where I see just that." The CBS co-anchor followed up with her "some people don't think it needs saving" question. Ryan replied by explaining his vision for the Republican Party:

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R), WISCONSIN: We need to be a more inclusive, more aspirational party. We need to be a majoritarian party. And what I'm trying to articulate here, is if you don't like the direction we're headed – which I don't, and many people agree with that – it's not enough to criticize. We need to propose alternatives. We need to say how we would do things differently. And we need to be a party that's inclusive, principled, and aspirational, and capable of winning a majority of Americans. We can't have an Electoral College strategy with a margin of error of one state, which is kind of what we're down to right now.

And so, what I'm trying to articulate here is the ability to have a bigger conservative movement that can bring people in, and be capable of winning national elections and fixing this country's big problems, which, in my opinion, are going un-dealt with – unattended.

O'Donnell then quoted her guest's "'lazy' and 'complacent'" labels of the GOP. The Wisconsin congressman responded, in part, that "I would argue that we have...a different governing philosophy than the President's, and we need to show how we apply that philosophy – an inclusive philosophy – one that uses first principles to actually get out of the rut people are in in this country. And yes, I don't think the economy or the country is heading in the right direction."

King and O'Donnell, along with anchor Charlie Rose, spent the remainder of the segment prodding Ryan about a possible 2016 presidential run:

CHARLIE ROSE: And who best can articulate those visions in the 2016 presidential election?

RYAN: We will find out. I don't know the answer to that question yet. What matters to me is that we get the policies right. What matters to me is that we offer people an alternative.

ROSE: Does it include you?

RYAN: It may. I don't know.

ROSE: You haven't made a decision yet.

RYAN: Correct.

GAYLE KING: Well, some would say that the timing of your book is a little suspicious – that it's a way of getting the people to know you. It's no coincidence, I think, Congressman, that it's coming out now. Would you at least agree to that – that there's a strategy here?

RYAN: Well, the strategy is, I want to do what I can to help produce a conservative movement that is inclusive, aspirational, and principled – and capable of winning a majority of Americans' support-

KING: But you're sharing things about your life-

RYAN: I don't want to have another 2012. I want to have a 2016, where we can get this country on the right track, and have elections where we actually give people a real choice – so that if and when we win that election, we have the mandate and authority to actually get this country's problems solved.

O'DONNELL: But you reveal in this book that your father was an alcoholic. We knew that he had died at an early age of a heart attack. You found your father when he died. Why – why didn't you reveal that before?

RYAN: I didn't want to do it in the middle of a presidential campaign. I just didn't think it was appropriate to get into those issues at that time. And look, everybody goes through difficult knocks in life, and the point I'm trying to make, is you can have these tragedies in your family, but you can bounce back from these things. You can pick yourself up, and you can make the most of your life. And so, I learned great lessons from these problems that we had – and my family really bounced back. And I think it was an important story to share, but not in the heat of a presidential campaign.

Past CBS This Morning interviews of Rep. Ryan were much more contentious. Back in December 2013, O'Donnell took aim at the Republican over a bipartisan federal budget that he proposed with Democratic Senator Patty Murray: "Military members want to know why you asked them to take a cut, in terms of cost [of] living increases...the men and women in this country, who fight and die for this country, want to know why they should not get a cost of living increase like they have in the past." The CBS anchor also went after Ryan during four separate interviews in 2012.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.