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Former House Speaker Paul Ryan grew up admiring Ronald Reagan and wielding political power under Donald Trump.

So it was Ryan, the former Wisconsin lawmaker who represented Janesville and the 1st Congressional District for 20 years, who was selected to lead a series of speakers on the future of the Republican Party and the Conservative movement.

The setting: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

“Once again, we Conservatives are at a crossroads,” Ryan said, according to excerpts from the speech he is due to deliver Thursday night.

Without naming Trump, Ryan will add, “And here is a reality we have to face. If the Conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of a personality, or second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters are looking for Republicans. Leaders want to see independence and courage. “

“We win majorities by orienting our loyalty and respect to voters, and by staying true to the conservative principles that unite us,” Ryan said. “It was true even when the person leading our movement was as impressive and refined and pleasant as They Come.”

Ryan, the 2012 GOP running mate, has brushed aside questions about any projects he may have to run in 2024, recently told The Associated Press, “I’m happy where I am.”

A member of the Fox Corporation board of directors, Ryan, 51, is a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the American Enterprise Institute.

He is also president of the American Idea Foundation, a nonprofit organization he launched in 2019 to promote center-right solutions to reduce poverty.

In the speech, Ryan will describe himself as a “Conservative Reagan” and recall the 40th President as “exactly the man America needed at a crucial time.”

“The eight years of the Reagan presidency is proof of how much these ideas can accomplish. Imagine how different the world would be today, without this man whose arrival in American politics still seems providential. “

Ryan is expected to criticize President Joe Biden on policy issues.

“In 2020, the country wanted a nice guy who would move to the center and depolarize our politics,” Ryan will say. “Instead, we got a nice guy pursuing a more leftist agenda than any president in my life. These policies may have the full approval of his progressive supporters, but they don’t trust the people of the middle of the road that made the difference for him on Election Day. “

Recent poll showed approval of Biden’s post over 60% with voters also approving his policies on the pandemic and the economy.

RyHe will also offer other criticism from the left.

“As the left is waking up more and more, the rest of America is getting bored,” he said. “It’s exhausting. And we Conservatives need to be careful not to get caught up in every little cultural battle. Sometimes these skirmishes are just the creations of indignant peddlers, detached from reality and not worth anyone’s time. They distract from the much more important case we need to present to the American people. “

He will also warn Republicans.

“Culture matters, yes, but our party needs to be defined by more than a fight over the last grievance or the slight perception,” he said. “We must not let them take precedence over solutions – based on principle – to improve people’s lives.”

And even if the Republicans are out of power, Ryan will point out that there is a way back.

“For conservatives, this painful existence as an opposition may in fact be an opportunity,” he said. “From these years can emerge a healthy, growing and united conservative movement, a movement that speaks again to the heart of a great nation.”

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