In his first interview since the 2012 election results dealt him a tough defeat, GOP V.P. nominee Paul Ryan admits losing came as something of a surprise.
"We thought we had a very good chance of winning," the 42-year-old said.
"You know, the polling and the data and all the people who are the smart people who watch this stuff -- they had a pretty optimistic view on the night."
"So as you can imagine, it was a bit of a shock when we didn't win."
As soon as the final numbers on Virginia and Ohio began coming in, says Ryan, "we knew," adding that President Obama won reelection fair and square.
"I'll let the pundits decide exactly how he won," says the Wisconsin Congressman.
"The point is, [President Obama] got more votes than we did. That's how he won."
"The president deserves kudos for having a fantastic ground game. And the point I'm simply making is, he won. He won fair and square. He got more votes."
"And that's - that's the way our system works. And he ought to be congratulated for that."
Other takeaways from Paul Ryan's interview with ABC News:
- He says Obama has no mandate because America also reelected the GOP House, including himself, and that the ideas he ran on are popular.
- The silver lining? More time with his family; he took a short vacation and didn't even hear about the David Petraeus scandal until days later.
- He's not thinking about the 2016 election.
- Is Diane Sawyer drunk all the time?