Former U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who represented southeastern Wisconsin including Racine and Kenosha counties in Congress from 1999-2019, told ABC News last week that the Republican Party needs to leave Donald Trump in the rearview mirror.
Republicans were largely predicted to win majorities in the House and Senate after the midterm elections earlier this month, but came up short in the Senate and won one of the narrowest Congressional majorities on record.
Why? Ryan said, "The evidence is really clear: the biggest factor was the Trump factor."
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Ryan told political journalist Jonathan Karl that Republicans would have won the Senate earlier this month if they had what he called "traditional Republicans" running, rather than hardcore Trump supporters like Herschel Walker and Don Bolduc in New Hampshire. Ryan called the likes of Walker and Bolduc, as well as Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, "Trump Republicans" as opposed to "traditional Republicans."
Should Trump win the 2024 presidential nomination of the Republican Party, Ryan foresees a Democrat winning the presidency again. And should Trump lose the Republican primary but continue to run as an independent, Ryan said Trump would then be giving "'the left' the country."
"I was not a never-Trumper ... but I am a never-again-Trumper, because I want to win," Ryan told Karl. "We get past Trump, we start winning elections. We stick with Trump, we keep losing elections."
In the interview, Ryan promoted his new book, "American Renewal: Launching a New Conservative Policy," which was published last week.
In the book, Ryan said, he and coauthor Angela Rachidi of the American Enterprise Institute law out "a conservative plan" to deal with what he calls "an unsustainable debt" the nation has.
At the end of the interview, the former speaker's first Sunday news show interview since leaving office almost four years ago, Ryan indicated he is unlikely to seek public office again and is not considering a presidential run. "I don't have presidential-sized personal ambitions," he said.
The 25 best Paul Ryan cartoons of all time
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, and his on-again, off-again relationship with Donald Trump have made him ripe for political satire during 2016-17. Here are the best editorial cartoons of Ryan of the last several years, selected by the Wisconsin State Journal's cartoonist Phil Hands.