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JANESVILLE, Wis. — Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2012, predicts Hillary Rodham Clinton would be a formidable presidential candidate in 2016 but one with an equally formidable problem.

That would be Barack Obama.

"I don't think people are going to want to have an Obama third term, and no matter how she tries to shake that label, she won't be able to," the House Budget chairman told USA TODAY in an interview in his Wisconsin hometown. While the former secretary of State would be daunting — "I mean, look at the Clinton name, the ability to fundraise" — she would have vulnerabilities that Obama and Joe Biden didn't when they handily defeated Republicans Mitt Romney and Ryan in the last election.

RYAN'S FOCUS: Says the GOP will go from opposition to 'proposition' party

"The challenge Mitt and I had was, we sort of felt like we were shadow-boxing with big government in theory, because all of the things that the president passed hadn't become effective yet," Ryan says, mentioning implementation of major provisions of the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. "Well, now it's 2014 and the rubber has hit the road, and the results look nothing like the rhetoric that was used to sell it. So they have a harder case to make because we see big government in action."

He calls Clinton's record "abysmal" on Russia, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.

"I'm thinking about the foreign policy that was created in the first four years of the Obama administration that now have manifested in the second term, and we're now seeing as a result of this foreign policy America losing its standing in the world and Americans becoming less prosperous and less secure as a result of that," he says.

That reminds him of a previous election when an uneasy electorate rejected the party in power in favor of a conservative Republican challenger. "Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter with the exact same kind of dynamic," Ryan says. "I see the chance in the making for another 1980-like election."

Of course, that would depend on Republicans nominating a candidate who turns out to be as persuasive now as Reagan was then.

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