Obama says Ayn Rand is for misunderstood teenagers

The president criticizes one of Paul Ryan's favorite writers

Published October 25, 2012 7:23PM (EDT)

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan confused a lot of people when he credited writer Ayn Rand, whose books idealize fierce capitalism, individualism and a disdain for charity, for his foray into public service. In a new interview published in Rolling Stone, President Barack Obama commented on the writer, taking another jab at the candidate:

Q: What do you think Paul Ryan's obsession with her work would mean if he were vice president?

Obama: Well, you'd have to ask Paul Ryan what that means to him. Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that's a pretty narrow vision. It's not one that, I think, describes what's best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a "you're on your own" society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party

h/t Buzzfeed

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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2012 Elections Ayn Rand Barack Obama Paul Ryan Teenagers