Former House Speaker Paul Ryan rose to prominence politically during the early “Tea Party” movement circa 2010, when President Obama’s leftism sparked major backlash on the right.
But after getting to DC, Ryan — like so many other politicians and especially Republicans — became part of the very same establishment he once claimed to shun, and it showed.
When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he literally espoused most of the exact same positions conservative Republicans had run on for years (but had also failed to implement for one reason or another). He was a conservative’s conservative, running on issues of strict border security and building a border wall, shoring up our nation’s military, making better trade deals globally, and putting Americans first.
But Republicans like Ryan shunned Trump, made his first two years harder than they should have been (with a GOP majority in Congress), and have since outright rejected the one president since Ronald Reagan who legitimately embraced the GOP’s core policies without hesitation and pushed them with a fervor unparalleled in the modern Republican Party.
Now that Trump has announced he will once again seek the party’s presidential nomination for 2024, Ryan (and others) are crawling back out of the woodwork to virtue signal to their political establishment pals that they remain forever anti-Trump.
The Daily Wire noted:
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” with co-anchor Jonathan Karl on Sunday, Ryan reflected on his tenure as speaker and his relationship with then-President Trump. He also warned that Republicans would have to work with Democrats in order to pass legislation, given the GOP’s thin majority.
“I’m proud of the accomplishments [during the Trump administration] – of the tax reform, the deregulation and criminal justice reform. I’m really excited about the judges we got on the bench, not just the Supreme Court, but throughout the judiciary,” Ryan told Karl. “But I am a never-again-Trumper. Why? Because I want to win, and we lose with Trump.”
Naturally, such language is music to the ears of left-wing Washington journalists, which is nearly all of them.
EXCLUSIVE: Just days after Donald Trump announces his third bid for the White House, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan calls himself a "Never-Again-Trumper."
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 20, 2022
The former Wisconsin Republican said that while Trump managed to get his base to turn out for the primaries and that some Trump-backed candidates won their general elections, there were not enough of those victories during the midterms. He also predicted that most GOP voters would “move on” from the former president.
“That’s why I don’t think he ends up winning the nomination at the end of the day,” Ryan said. “I think we have a great stable of good, capable conservatives who are more than capable of winning this primary for presidency and winning the election, and I think Republican voters know that. So that’s why I think our voters, ultimately who really want to win, are going to give us candidates who can win.”
Karl asked Ryan what would happen if Trump did pull off the GOP nomination, saying that “we probably, likely lose the White House.”
“We just did in ‘20, so I think we probably lose the White House with Trump, and if there’s someone not named Trump, my guess is we win the White House,” he added.