This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 13, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Now to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, Congressman Paul Ryan's colleague. They go way back. And tonight, Speaker Boehner talks about the first time he crossed paths with the now vice presidential candidate. We caught up with Speaker Boehner here in Wisconsin.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Speaker, nice to see you.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Greta, good to be with you.
VAN SUSTEREN: I like it. We're not in the Capitol, but I have you on my territory.
BOEHNER: I know. It's so nice to be outside of Washington.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I understand that you've leaned how to do some Wisconsin fishing?
BOEHNER: I did. I caught a few walleyes today.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that's good. All right, the big news, Congressman Paul Ryan from the state of Wisconsin -- he is one of your colleagues in the House. What's your thought on this pick?
BOEHNER: Well, I couldn't be happier for Paul, and I think Mitt Romney made a brave choice and a wise choice. Paul Ryan understands that the central issue that we have to deal with is our economy. There's nobody that knows more about pro-growth economic policies than Paul Ryan. And then when it comes to dealing with our debt crisis, probably nobody worked harder to develop policies to deal with our debt crisis than Paul Ryan.
So I think he brings the kind of experience and background and leadership to this race that Mitt Romney will find very helpful.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why is that brave?
BOEHNER: Well, you know, there were safer choices. You read all the noise over the last couple of weeks. And because Paul Ryan has carried the House Republican budget over the last couple of years, we've taken some brave positions. And it would have been easy for Governor Romney to just go somewhere else and not have to deal with it.
But he didn't do that. That's because the issues that Paul Ryan has carried on behalf of our team are issues that are important to this election and important to the future of our country.
VAN SUSTEREN: As you might imagine, there have been statements from the other side of the aisle. And let me -- Senator -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this...
BOEHNER: Well, this ought to be real interesting.
VAN SUSTEREN: Get ready.
BOEHNER: Yes, I'm ready.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ready? You OK? You ready?
BOEHNER: I'm ready.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. "By picking Representative Paul Ryan, Governor Romney has doubled down on his commitment to gut Social Security and Medicare as we know it."
BOEHNER: What would you expect? You know, Republicans on Capitol Hill have out outlined ways to save Medicare, to save Social Security and to save Medicaid. Where are the plans from the Democrats? They have none.
We know that if we don't address these programs and address them soon, they're not sustainable in the current form. So what are we going to do? Do nothing? Let them go bankrupt? That's the Democrat plan, do nothing, let them go bankrupt.
I think outlining how we would fix those programs is an important dialogue to have. It's an honest dialogue to have. And it's about time the Democrats come to the table with their ideas.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you realize it's a political weapon of mass destruction. I mean, that -- you know, they -- a lot of people think that you just -- that the Republicans are just coming in and -- and -- and it may not be true, but that's what you've got to deal with in the political arena.
BOEHNER: I think that being honest with the American people, being forthright with them is the best way to earn their support and to earn their vote.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think that it's so -- I mean, the statement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- and he's had a couple in the past couple weeks. I mean, why is he so aggressive and -- I mean, in -- he's been painfully aggressive to the Republican Party lately.
BOEHNER: Oh, I don't know, Greta. You'll have to ask him. You know, I'm -- I've got to work with him every day. I actually get along with Harry. We have some different views. But you'll have to ask Harry why he makes some of the statements that he makes.
VAN SUSTEREN: But in those off times, don't you say to him, like, you know, Harry, I...
BOEHNER: No, no, no.
VAN SUSTEREN: You never say anything to him?
BOEHNER: No, I never say anything to him. Listen, Ted Kennedy and I used to be friends, too, close friends, and worked very closely together. But I never asked Ted about why he said some of the things that he said. And he said some -- he said some pretty interesting things.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do statements -- do politicians remember these statements that are said about each other, I mean, whether it's someone pushing someone off a cliff in an ad or -- I mean, do...
BOEHNER: Well, I don't know about anybody else, but I certainly don't ever remember those statements. You know, people in this business from time to time are going to say things that are bit over the top. I try to avoid it.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, here's what President Obama says about the choice, among -- I mean, he says, He's a decent man, a family man, but he says he's an ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress, that he's an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney's vision, but it's a vision I fundamentally disagree with. So sounds like he's staying a little bit out of the mud wrestling.
BOEHNER: A bit. But what is it that he disagrees with when it comes to our economic policies? You know, the president -- he doesn't want to talk about his record because his economic policies have failed. They've actually made things worse. As a result, he's turned to the politics of envy and division, trying divide Americans.