"Paul said he thought it was inarticulate, but quite frankly Democrats are lying in wait as well to pounce on whatever might be off tone," he said when asked about Ryan's claims.
"Why was Paul even talking about this? He was talking about it because he’s devoted a large part of his life, starting back when he worked with Jack Kemp, on finding ways to tackle poverty," Priebus added. "I commend Paul for his work that he's doing around the country."
Paul Ryan last week made controversial comments about poverty in inner cities.
"We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with," he said.
Ryan was criticized, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said his claims were a "thinly veiled racial attack."
Watch the video via CNN: