Over the past four years that Trump has been president, while he is meant to be a symbol of conservative beliefs by virtue of his position, many conservative and republican people simply haven’t found Trump to be an accurate or honest representation of their party’s beliefs. Indeed, many non-Trump supporters found his presidency to symbolize a decline in the GOP, and an overall deviation away from core republican values (via The Atlantic). Republican congressman and former Speaker of the House Ryan Paul has been, and continues to be, a member of this niche (or perhaps not-so-niche) community.
Throughout his presidency, Ryan has never been Trump’s biggest fan — and unfortunately for Paul, the feelings have been reciprocated. Trump has been outwardly critical of Paul’s political work, calling him a “baby” and a “terrible speaker,” who didn’t know what he was doing (via Fortune). During his time as Speaker, Paul had an obvious dislike for the president, but a quiet one — The Washington Post described it as Ryan’s attempts to “actively [try] not to criticize President Trump.”
But when he retired from this role in January of 2019, his dislike suddenly became much louder.
Ryan seems to be relishing this new found confidence to speak out against Trump
In Tim Alberta’s book, American Carnage, many republican leaders are interviewed and discuss their thoughts on the president’s “takeover” of the GOP, including Ted Cruz, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell, to name a few (via Amazon). And of course, none other than Paul Ryan was included in the book, serving as a space for him to finally speak candidly of his thoughts on the Commander-in-Chief.
“I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government,” Ryan says in the book. “I wanted to scold him all the time. What I learned as I went on, to scratch that itch, I had to do it in private. So, I did it in private all the time. And he actually ended up kind of appreciating it” (via AP News).
This fear and inability to speak the truth about the president is riveting, but sadly not unique — Trump is notorious for his criticism for anyone that speaks out against him, regardless of their political beliefs or role in his administration (via AP News).
Ryan fervently supports the peaceful transition of power
This fearless, 2020 version of Paul Ryan has struck again, this time criticizing Trump’s attack on the American voting system and inability to concede his loss to president-elect Joe Biden. During a press conference on Tuesday morning, Ryan said that the “attacks on our voting system really need to stop, in my opinion.” The former Speaker added that he believes Trump’s lawyers to be spewing “baseless conspiracy theories” that contain “no evidence,” referring to voter fraud and the belief that the election was rigged against Trump (via Politico). These are some pretty powerful statements to make from someone who was once meant to be a supporter of Trump.
So, Ryan doesn’t like Trump, and Trump doesn’t like Ryan; that seems obvious at this point. The real test is if Ryan dislikes Trump enough to show his support of Biden — and it would appear that he has at least admitted his support for having a new person in power.
“So, the election is over. The outcome is certain,” explains Ryan, “And I think it’s really important that we respect that, we respect the will of the people, and if we don’t, we end up doing damage to our country” (via Politico). While “support” may be a strong word, Ryan is actively encouraging the presidential transition, which is pretty much the next best thing.
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