Ryan found that out when parrying tough question from a Pittsburgh reporter about his views on abortion and rape in the wake of comments by Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri Senate candidate who stirred a firestorm when he asserted that victims of "legitimate" rape can physically resist pregnancy.
"Should abortions be available to women who've been raped?" KDKA reporter Jon Delano asked Ryan, who has co-sponsored tough anti-abortion legislation with Akin.
Ryan responded: "Rape is rape."
When he has allowed national outlets to interview him, he's tended to stick to conservative-friendly hosts like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, who asked Ryan about a host of issues — including his clothing choices on the road.
"You went from very boxy clothes to the slim fit," Ingraham said. "Those shirts are a little tighter than the usual Paul Ryan shirts. The girls at our studio notice."
"Some of 'em are big and some of 'em fit real well," Ryan said.
Ryan's visits to reporters on his plane have been rare but memorable. He came bearing cookies on one occasion and came another time to bid farewell to a reporter decamping to Vice President Joe Biden's campaign. Reporters thrust microphones in his face each time to pepper him with questions.
"Every time I come back here, are you guys going to always do that?" he asked. "Does it have to be so formal?"
In Ryan's new world, the answer is yes.
Follow Beth Fouhy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bfouhy
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