In a Thursday interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos (Part 1 here, Part 2 here), the president offered a classic bouquet-with-a-thorn:
Well, what is true is a couple of them seem to share that vision of where the country goes. And-- and I think the 2012 election is going to be important. I said in my speech yesterday that we are-- there-- there's clarity that is emerging about where we go as a country. We are at a-- at a fork in the road here. And-- I think somebody like Paul Ryan is very sincere. I think he fundamentally believes that government should get out of the way in just about all areas of life. And he genuinely believes that you know, the more successful you or I are we should keep as much of that monetary success as we can without giving much back. And I respect his sincerity on that.
A few hours later, however, the president contradicted himself on the issue of Ryan's sincerity. Speaking to supporters without knowing that reporters were listening, he said: