Paul Ryan: Obama a 'blind squirrel' on trade

President Obama has a “terrible” foreign policy but is right on trade, Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans RealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer MORE (R-Wis.) said Wednesday in a TV interview.

“A blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again,” Ryan said of Obama on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday.

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Ryan was defending the president’s request that Congress give him fast-track negotiating authority on trade, which would prevent Congress from amending trade agreements negotiated by the White House.

“The president has terrible foreign policy, I think he’s made so many mistakes on foreign policy, but on this particular case, I think he’s going in the right direction,” said Ryan, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Ryan worked with leaders of the Senate Finance Committee on fast-track legislation introduced last week. It could pave the way for the White House to conclude talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 Latin American and Asian countries.

Ryan and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Texas) praised the legislation in a Wall Street Journal editorial published Wednesday, framing it as a necessary way to help spur American trade and give a much-needed boost to American workers by expanding markets for American goods. 

Trade badly divides the Democratic Party, and it is not clear whether Obama will have the votes necessary to move a fast-track bill through the House.

The president in an interview Tuesday night on MSNBC’s “Hardball” said Democratic critics of his trade policy are wrong, and his agenda would help the middle class.