Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan declared himself a “never-again Trumper,” blaming former President Donald Trump for the GOP’s poor showing in the midterm elections.
Ryan discussed his term as speaker and his relationship with then-President Trump on ABC’s “This Week” with co-anchor Jonathan Karl on Sunday. Given the GOP’s slim majority, he also cautioned that Republicans would have to collaborate with Democrats to enact legislation.
“I’m happy of what the Trump administration has accomplished, including deregulation, tax reform, and criminal justice reform. I am incredibly thrilled about the justices we got on the court, not just on the Supreme Court, but across the board,” Ryan told Karl. “However, I am a never-again Trumper. Why am I? Because I would like to win, and we will lose with Trump.”
Ryan blamed Trump for many Republican election losses, including House seat losses in 2018, the president and Senate losses in 2020, and the failure to reclaim the Senate in 2022, which Republicans “should have and could have won.” The former House Speaker blamed the defeat on the “Trump factor.”
Ryan argued that while Trump was able to mobilize his support for the primaries, delivering some Trump-backed candidates to victory, it was insufficient for general elections. He predicted that Republican voters will “move on” from their support for Trump.
“That’s why I don’t believe he ends up receiving the nomination,” Ryan explained. “I believe we have a tremendous stable of decent, talented conservatives who are very capable of winning this primary and the general, and I believe Republican voters recognize that. So, eventually, I believe our people who truly want to win will provide us with candidates who can win,” he remarked.
When Karl questioned what it would mean if Trump won the Republican presidential nomination again, Ryan replied, “We definitely, probably would lose the White House. We already did it in ’20, so I think we’ll lose the White House with Trump, and if there’s no one called Trump, I think we’ll win,” he stated, adding that he thought the former president was “unelectable.”
When questioned about the Republican House majority, Ryan replied, “no matter what measure you’re going to bring to the floor, it’s very hard with that tight of a majority to have just your party enacting legislation.”
“It’s going to be incredibly difficult if you have such a thin majority,” he added. “Having said that,” Ryan said, “there’s nothing more uniting than a razor-thin majority,” stressing that Republicans must collaborate with Democrats to enact legislation.
Republicans won a House majority early last week, but the latest prediction by Decision Desk HQ indicates a thin one, with Republicans holding 219 seats to Democrats 211, above the 218-seat majority threshold. Despite the fact that several races have not yet been called, the majority will be close.