Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, says that James Madison was his favorite U.S. president.
In a video released Monday to mark President's Day, Ryan named Madison as his favorite because he was the "Father of our Constitution."
"James Madison was the one who came up with the separation of powers," Ryan said. "As speaker of the House, I'm extra sensitive and more attuned to the fact that the legislative branch of government has atrophy, our powers have atrophy, and as a result of that, the executive branch has taken on too much power, has stretched its limits."
Ryan said Madison's legacy inspires him to think about how Congress can "reclaim the power of the purse, reclaim the separations of powers and checks and balances" so that the U.S. has "limited government, self-determination, government by consent."
You can view the video here:
Madison served as the nation's fourth president from 1809 until 1817. He has been referred to as the "Father of the Constitution" because of his major role in writing The Federalist Papers, which heavily influenced the Constitution. According to the White House, Madison helped frame the Bill of Rights in Congress and helped enact the first revenue legislation.
Asked to name his least favorite president, Ryan said, "Well, obviously I'm no fan of Barack Obama, but Woodrow Wilson is pretty high up there as well."
Wilson served as the 28th president from 1913 until 1921 and was a major leader of the progressive movement. He campaigned on a New Freedom agenda, according to the White House, that called for a tariff reduction, reform of the banking and financial industries and measures to weaken abusive corporations.