Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) is a busy man; when he’s not getting blindsided by Donald Trump’s decision to side with rival politicians Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) over the debt ceiling, he’s deep in the Congressional trenches, protecting his speakership from a growing threat by House Freedom Caucus members and former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon.
So on Thursday, when Ryan was asked during a New York Times TimesTalk a very basic question—“What's the minimum wage” in his home state of Wisconsin?—the speaker was apparently unable to sift through the Ayn Rand novels he’s committed to memory to come to the correct answer without help from an audience member.
At the New York Times TimesTalk with @SpeakerRyan, he wasn't able to answer a very simple question: "What's the mi… https://t.co/aFhY9ds8br— Nicholas Kitchel (@Nicholas Kitchel) 1504790529.0
Appalled by Ryan’s lack of knowledge on this matter, the internet was quick to point out that Randy Bryce—a union ironworker and Southeastern Wisconsin native who hopes to unseat the speaker in 2018—is probably in the know on his state’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage.
Read some of the best reactions to Ryan's flub below, via Twitter.
Paul Ryan trying to answer questions about what the minimum wage in Wisconsin is like https://t.co/LFhroM0zqo— Duke Silver Fan Club (@Duke Silver Fan Club) 1504876441.0
And people consider @SpeakerRyan the policy wonk. https://t.co/akV9AyCOct— Soledad O'Brien (@Soledad O'Brien) 1504816096.0
@nicholaskitchel @wbtegra @SpeakerRyan Easy to explain - people on minimum wage are not the people Ryan is working for.— Mike Morris (@Mike Morris) 1504877756.0
Paul Ryan doesn't know WI's minimum wage, but I bet he knows the marginal tax rate. That's why I donated to… https://t.co/7enlpOAFSa— DC Statehood Siobhan (@DC Statehood Siobhan) 1504876971.0
@KagroX Blame Big Government. In Ryan's mythical Ayn Randian utopia there would be no minimum wage or beneficial wo… https://t.co/UTbHO04yfX— Michael Dominowski (@Michael Dominowski) 1504875268.0
"Policy wonk" my ass. Paul Ryan couldn't answer a simple question about Wisconsin's minimum wage. Let's expose this… https://t.co/Eplp34yYMp— Raising Kane (@Raising Kane) 1504882506.0
@KagroX Paull Ryan's concern over the minimum wage is to low to register. Ryan is there to represent the Rich only.— Mechadave (@Mechadave) 1504874300.0
@nicholaskitchel @SpeakerRyan Raise your hand if you actually thought Paul Ryan knew wisconsin's minimum wage. I'll… https://t.co/QM2TQG6fdA— Lemon peppa pig (@Lemon peppa pig) 1504861130.0
@nicholaskitchel @SpeakerRyan Ryan does not care, to him the minimum wage is wrong. Randian thinking.— William Cook (@William Cook) 1504842865.0
@peterdaou @MargieHagen If Ryan had his way, there wouldn't BE a minimum wage.— Deborah H. Arrington (@Deborah H. Arrington) 1504841412.0
Paul Ryan doesn't know the minimum wage in Wisconson. It's kind of amazing how little these people actually know. https://t.co/YBCcSNkreO— #Doomberg A.K.A. Dr. Discourtesy⌬ (@#Doomberg A.K.A. Dr. Discourtesy⌬) 1504839096.0
Why would the minimum wage in his home state be important to Paul Ryan? His voters are not working at those jobs. https://t.co/JbUFt4OyCT— Susan Garbanzo, MBA, MS MOB (@Susan Garbanzo, MBA, MS MOB) 1504834544.0
@nicholaskitchel @SpeakerRyan Ryan needs to try living on minimum wage for a month. He would never forget it. Pretend to pay rent, utilities— Blue Skies, Wear a mask-stop the spread (@Blue Skies, Wear a mask-stop the spread) 1504830604.0
Paul Ryan does not give a flying you-know-what about the minimum wage workers of Wisconsin or anywhere else. https://t.co/BfgdOkE2Ux— Mimi Wells 💛🐝 (@Mimi Wells 💛🐝) 1504830460.0
UPDATE: An earlier version of this article read, "the speaker was apparently unable to sift through the Ayn Rand novels he’s committed to memory to come to the correct answer." It has been edited to reflect that the speaker was in fact able to come to the correct answer after an audience member chimed in. Watch a video of the exchange below, beginning at the 45-minute mark.