Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., has largely remained silent since leaving office in 2019 (Stay quiet, and collect your paychecks from sitting on the board at Fox News!) However, Ryan broke his silence on an appearance on CNN.
Ryan went on CNN ostensibly to talk about his immediate successor — House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy — becoming House speaker, but before long, Ryan started bashing former President Donald Trump.
“He’s fading fast. He’s a proven loser. He cost us the House in ’18. He cost us the White House in ’20. He cost us the Senate again and again. And I think we all know that. And I think we’re moving past Trump. I can’t imagine him getting the nomination, frankly,” Ryan said of Trump.
“I don’t want him to get the nomination.”
“I think you need to persuade the country as to the solutions and the problem, and I don’t think brinksmanship solves those things.”
Ryan has made similar remarks during T.V. appearances in the past. In November, he went on ABC News to blame Trump for the GOP’s underperformance in the midterm elections.
“So, I think what we now know, it’s pretty clear is, with Trump we lose. So, I don’t mean this personally, it’s just — it’s just evidence. We lost the House in ’18. We lost the presidency in ’20. We lost the Senate in ’20. And now, in 2022, we should have and could have won the Senate. We didn’t. And we have a much lower majority in the House because of that Trump factor,” Ryan said in November.
Take a look —
Paul Ryan on Donald Trump: "He's fading fast. He's a proven loser. He cost us the House in '18. He cost us the White House in '20. He cost us the Senate again and again. And I think we all know that. And I think we're moving past Trump." pic.twitter.com/gSp4hiHReo
— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) January 12, 2023
Immediately before slamming the former President, Ryan was talking about his work with the former president. “I think you need to persuade the country as to the solutions and the problem, and I don’t think brinksmanship solves those things,” Ryan said, referring to his converations about the federal debt.
Sponsored: Where Should We Mail Your Book?
Ryan also addressed the speakership election, the occasion for his appearance on CNN. He defended McCarthy as the only option.
“There was no alternative,” Ryan said of the California Republican. “Kevin was the leader of the conference, as a minority leader for two cycles, built that majority, and then there really wasn’t another alternative for people to go to. So I really thought that he would get through it, even with his touch margin. I just didn’t think it would take 15 votes and all those concessions.”
However, Ryan also supported the concessions intended to limit McCarthy’s power.
“I had too much power as speaker,” Ryan said.
“The dynamic was different when I was there, because I was seen as the alternative. And I was not looking for the job. I sort of got drafted into it, but there was no dynamic like that at play here. And Kevin had done so much more. First of all, I came mid-term. Remember, there was a motion to vacate placed on [John Boehner, the previous House speaker]. So, I came mid-term. Kevin had just worked his tail off to campaign and fundraise to build this majority over two cycles, and he did that. So, it’s a different dynamic than what occurred in 2015 with me.”
The Horn editorial team