In a new interview with journalistic standard-bearer Rolling Stone, President Barack Obama gives a back-handed smack to vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan and famed author Ayn Rand.

Obama says Ayn Rand is for misunderstood teenagers

(Image: AP)

It’s no secret that Paul (and countless others) are fans of Rand’s work. “I grew up reading Ayn Rand, and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff,” Ryan has said previously.  But liberals have slandered Ryan, portraying him as more of a fanatic than a fan.  Rob Zerban, the Wisconsin Democrat trying to unseat Ryan in the House of Representatives, claims that the Republican congressman has a “disturbing” obsession.

President Obama is seizing on this running meme and continuing his efforts to paint his Republican challengers as scary right-wing extremists.  When Rolling Stone lobbed him a softball about Ryan’s admiration for Rand’s work, Obama responded:

“Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that’s a pretty narrow vision. It’s not one that, I think, describes what’s best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a ‘you’re on your own’ society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.”

When asked if he himself had ever read Rand, Obama replied, “Sure.”

Ha: I’d love to know which one of his “Marxist professors” had Ayn Rand on their required reading list.