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Fans Are Angry At Sheryl Sandberg About Her Comments On Paul Ryan


Posted on October 21, 2015, at 6:31 p.m. ET

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Republicans are currently on the hunt for a new House Speaker. The top choice for many, including current Speaker John Boehner, is Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

But Ryan has been reluctant to take on the job, primarily because he has three young kids. On Tuesday, Ryan told reporters he had made it clear to his Republican colleagues that he would only vie for the job if he could continue to have his "family time."

β€œI cannot and will not give up my family time,” Ryan told reporters on Tuesday.

β€œLike many of you, Janna and I have children who are in the formative, foundational years of their lives. I genuinely worry about the consequences that my agreeing to serve will have on them.”

The lawmaker has long been known for his commitment to seeing his family, and travels home to Wisconsin every weekend to see them.

β€œThis is a job where you are expected to be on the road about a hundred days a year,” Ryan said last month, according to the Huffington Post. β€œOur kids are 10, 12 and 13, and I’m not going to do that.”

His commitment to his family was noticed by many powerful people, including Facebook executive and gender equality champion Sheryl Sandberg. She was so impressed by his comments, she decided to nominate him for her "Lean In" award on Facebook.

The award refers to Sandberg's best-selling book for professional women, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, and the group she started to carry on her book's goals.

Sandberg wrote:

The Lean In Award of the day goes to Paul Ryan, for saying he worries how becoming House Speaker would affect his children, "who are in the formative, foundational years of their lives" – and that he won't do the job unless he can still make them a top priority.

We need work to work for parents – and having leaders who weigh responsibilities as fathers as much as their responsibilities to their jobs shows all of us what is possible. #LeanIn

But not everyone was pleased that Sandberg decided to champion Ryan as a advocate for a healthy work-life balance.

That's because Ryan has been called a hypocrite in some media outlets for voting against a number of measures that proponents argued would make things easier on working families.

For example, Time noted that Ryan voted against a 2009 bill that would have given paid parental leave to all government workers. ThinkProgress also argued that Ryan repeatedly hurt poor families by drafting budgets that cut child care subsidies.

For these reasons, many of Sandberg's fans weren't too pleased by the award. They blasted the executive for championing what they called Ryan's hypocrisy.

Sheryl Sandberg knows that paul Ryan deserves paid family leave more than poor people

And said Ryan was an "opponent," not a champion, of parental rights.

Sheryl Sandberg praising an opponent of paid family leave, oh god.

"Sheryl Sandberg didn't even try."

No reference to Ryan's position. No even slight push for support to legislation. Sheryl Sandberg didn't even try.

Tons of people also commented angrily on Sandberg's original post. "Really? He is against family leave yet wants special consideration for himself? This award seems extremely misguided," one said.


Ryan, however, did have some supporters.


BuzzFeed News has contacted Lean In for comment.