Zach Gibson, J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Here's what the House Speaker told Bret Baier of Fox News about Paul's criticism of the House Obamacare approach, and Paul's public "search" for a copy of the bill:
I like Rand but I think he's looking for a publicity stunt here.
Why this matters: Republicans can only repeal and replace Obamacare if they stay unified. That's already looking tough, as a number of hardline conservatives — Rand Paul most prominent among them — are publicly condemning some of the core elements of a plan that congressional leaders and the White House are privately fleshing out. Ryan is giving public expression to the sentiment among his colleagues who really don't like Rand Paul. They believe he's a Senator light on accomplishments and heavy on stunts. They believe he's threatening everything they've worked for; and they're ready to blame him and his colleagues like Ted Cruz if the Obamacare repeal-and-replace effort fails.
The thing that's always been true about Rand Paul: he won't be swayed by critics. That's why his supporters love him; and why the House-led Obamacare plan looks endangered on arrival.