Former House Speaker-turned-Fox News board member Paul Ryan has once again spoken ill publicly of former President Donald Trump while also acknowledging that he remains a potent political force.
In an interview Wednesday with CNBC, the Wisconsin Republican said he would “never again” support Trump but said he definitely could win back the White House next year.
“Look, it’s a disaster if we nominate Trump, you know, I think that I’ve been saying this for a long time,” he said. “But Liz [Cheney] is right: he could win.”
“I’m for anybody not named Trump,” Ryan added before correcting himself and saying he meant that he would support any other Republican presidential nominee.
“We haven’t won anything with him since he first won in 2016. We lost the House in ’18, the presidency in ’20, the Senate in ’20, and we could have won the Senate in 2022, but for him,” he went on, failing to mention that Republicans took back the House last year.
Ryan was then asked if he believes the GOP can win without the ‘America First’ faction that supports Trump. He responded by saying he’s a “Never Again Trumper” and that a great many Republican voters do not care much for him anymore.
For the record, Trump doesn’t think much of Ryan, either, especially since he was among a group of former GOP leaders who blocked much of what Trump tried to do during the first two years of his presidency, such as build the border wall.
In December, Trump took a verbal potshot at Ryan, who ran unsuccessfully as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012, while he explained in an interview how Republicans could avoid falling into Democratic legislative and political “traps.”
Trump told Breitbart News earlier this month that one of those traps Republicans always seem to have to defend is the false Democratic claim that the GOP wants to cut Social Security, a left-wing talking point that made it back into the conversation again during the November midterms in some races.
“We’re not cutting Social Security,” Trump said. “It’s very simple. It’s a simple answer. We’re not cutting Social Security.
“We have to protect it. It’s a contract with the people,” Trump said of Social Security. “They go in. They work and they do. They put their blood, sweat, and tears into Social Security, and then you have a guy like a Paul Ryan or others that want to destroy it,” he continued.
“We have a contract. There are plenty of places we can take from where it’s waste. Look at the Green New Deal nonsense. That’s many times Social Security, what they’re doing with the Green New Deal. That is like throwing money out the window. I’m all for the environment. I’m an environmentalist in the truest sense. But the Green New Deal is like the Green New Hoax. It’s a hoax,” he added. “Then when they talk about Social Security, they’re going to destroy Social Security so they can build more windmills all over the place that don’t work? It’s not going to happen with me.”
Trump was responding to a plan that Ryan, who has long advocated for cutting the program, co-authored and released a plan following the party’s dismal midterm performance titled, “American Renewal: A Conservative Plan to Strengthen the Social Contract and Save the Country’s Finances.” The plan consists of essays from multiple authors arguing for “rethinking” Social Security, Ryan included.
“Paul’s a loser,” Trump told Breitbart regarding the plan. “Paul has always been a loser.”
“He lost running for vice president, and he lost it for Romney,” Trump said. “When Romney picked him, I said, ‘That’s the end of that election.’ Remember the wheelchair? He’s got the wheelchair over the cliff. That was Paul Ryan. No, he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get it.”