Former House Speaker Paul Ryan has broken his silence on the 2020 presidential election and his prediction for who may win it has some conservatives frustrated.
Ryan, who served three years as the House Speaker and was the Republican point-man for the first couple years of the Trump administration, told a crowd in Vero Beach, Florida that Trump’s re-election effort could fail if he does not set aside his ego.
From the Hill:
“The person who defines that race is going to win the race. If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it,” Ryan said, according to the local news outlet.
Trump, he reportedly continued, needs to define the 2020 race through policy proposals if he wants to defeat Democrats in next year’s election.
Ryan left the House in January after seeing Republicans lose control of the lower chamber during last November’s midterm elections. He did not run for reelection, capping just over three years as the House’s most powerful GOP member.
During Ryan’s final years in the House, he routinely clashed with President Trump and ill-advised him to sign into law an omnibus bill that did not allocate money for the border wall, the Hill reports.
In January, Trump criticized Paul over the decision: “Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, ‘Please don’t do that, we’ll get you the wall.’ And I said, ‘I hope you mean that, because I don’t like this bill.'”
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“Paul told me in the strongest of terms that, ‘Please sign this and if you sign this we will get you that wall.’ Which is desperately needed by our country. Humanitarian crisis, trafficking, drugs, you know, everything — people, criminals, gangs, so, you know, we need the wall,” Trump continued, via the Hill.
“And then he went lame duck,” he added.
In January, it was reported that Trump chided Ryan after the congressman broke with the White House over condemning white supremacy in the days after the Charlottesville, Va. riots in 2017.
“Why do you think [then-Minority Leader] Nancy [Pelosi (D-Calif.)] has held on this long?” Trump reportedly asked at the time. “Have you seen her? She’s a disaster. Every time she opens her mouth another Republican gets elected. But they stick with her . . . Why can’t you be loyal to your president, Paul?”
Here’s even more, via the Daily Caller:
Despite his reservations about winning the next presidential election, Ryan told his Florida audience that Americans should be in a positive mood with a strong national economy and tax cuts that he championed as much as the president.
The former speaker claimed a lot of Republican legislation was not passed during his watch because of Senate rules that demand 60 votes to approve significant bills. He said attempts to reform health care failed for that reason.
Ryan also bemoaned the decline of bipartisanship in Congress, which he blamed on the “entertainment wings” attached to both the Republicans and Democrats — those who to ramp up name-calling and smears instead of debating policy.