Paul Ryan slams Trump in speech on the future of the Republican Party
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a sharp warning to the GOP in a speech about its future, saying voters will have little patience for a party built on loyalty to former President Trump. He told curators at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. On Thursday night that they were at a crossroads.
“If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of a personality, or second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and courage,” did he declare.
And leaving no doubt who he was talking about, although he didn’t name Mr. Trump, Ryan continued, “They won’t be in awe of the yeses and flatterers flocking to Mar-a-Lago. “
Among Republican politicians who spent time with Mr Trump at his Florida resort and publicly supported him, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy succeeded Ryan as the main House Republican when Ryan retired from the House in 2018.
Ryan, who had his disagreements with Mr. Trump, also expressed deep dismay at the end of his presidency. “It was horrible to see a presidency come to such a dishonorable and shameful end,” he said.
But he mentioned the former president by name to salute the economic growth that took place during his presidency, before the pandemic, and said: “To his credit, Donald Trump has brought many new voters into our party.”
Ryan’s speech kicked off the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute’s new series on the future of the Republican Party, its philosophies, and what it should stand for.
Ryan also criticized President Biden, whom he accused of posing as moderate in 2020 and “pursuing a more leftist agenda than any president in my life.” And he asserted that Democrats practice an “identity politics” in which “everything must be a question of race, sex and class”.
Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.