Rep. Ryan: Romneycare no longer 'matters that much'

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"It's not that dissimilar to ObamaCare. And you probably know I'm not a big fan of ObamaCare," Ryan said in March, slamming Romney’s healthcare legislation for having an adverse impact on the Massachusetts healthcare system.

“I don’t think this question matters that much anymore,” Ryan said of the similarity in the interview published Tuesday.

Ryan backing down his criticism of Romney on the issue adds weight to Romney's endorsement in September from former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty had previously been one of Romney's harshest critics on the topic, saying "RomneyCare" was the precursor to "ObamaCare."

“Mitt Romney is 100 percent committed to repealing ObamaCare," Pawlenty said as part of his endorsement.

Ryan went on to compliment Romney on a variety of issues.

He described Romney as proving himself “pretty capable and strong and resilient” when it comes to the slew of GOP debates over the past few months.

He also said he believes Romney is “serious about fixing” entitlements including Social Security, as are the other candidates Ryan named, such as Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

Ryan dismissed any lingering discontent with the Republican field, a malaise that political observers have said is indicated by repeated peaks of speculation surrounding a series of non-candidates such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ryan himself.

"The field we have is the field we're going to have. It's not going to change,” Ryan said. "They’re all good people, good candidates. They’re all huge improvements over Obama.”

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