Former Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called himself a “never-again-Trumper” and blamed former President Donald Trump for the GOP’s lackluster performance in the midterm elections.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” with co-anchor Jonathan Karl on Sunday, Ryan reflected on his tenure as speaker and his relationship with then-President Trump. He also warned that Republicans would have to work with Democrats in order to pass legislation, given the GOP’s thin majority.
“I’m proud of the accomplishments [during the Trump administration] – of the tax reform, the deregulation and criminal justice reform. I’m really excited about the judges we got on the bench, not just the Supreme Court, but throughout the judiciary,” Ryan told Karl. “But I am a never-again-Trumper. Why? Because I want to win, and we lose with Trump.”
Ryan blamed Trump for several of the Republican election losses, including losing seats in the House in 2018, the presidency and Senate in 2020, and the failure to win the Senate in 2022, which he says Republicans “should have and could have won.” The former speaker attributed the losses to what he called the “Trump factor.”
EXCLUSIVE: Just days after Donald Trump announces his third bid for the White House, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan calls himself a “Never-Again-Trumper.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 20, 2022
Ryan claimed that Trump was able to get his base to turn out for the primaries, delivering some Trump-endorsed candidates to victory, but that it wasn’t enough for general elections. He said he believed the Republican voter would “move on” in their support for Trump.
“That’s why I don’t think he ends up winning the nomination at the end of the day,” Ryan said. “I think we have a great stable of good, capable conservatives who are more than capable of winning this primary for presidency and winning the election, and I think Republican voters know that. So that’s why I think our voters, ultimately who really want to win, are going to give us candidates who can win,” he said.
Karl asked what it would mean if Trump were to win the Republican nomination for president again, to which Ryan said that “we probably, likely lose the White House. We just did in ‘20, so I think we probably lose the White House with Trump, and if there’s someone not named Trump, my guess is we win the White House,” he said, adding that he believed the former president was “unelectable.”
When asked about the thin Republican majority in the House, Ryan said, “no matter what bill you’re gonna bring to the floor, it is almost impossible with that tight a majority to have just only your party passing legislation.”
“If you have such a narrow majority, it’s going to be really hard,” he continued. “Having said that, there’s nothing as unifying as a really razor-thin majority,’ Ryan continued, explaining that Republicans must work with Democrats to pass legislation.
Republicans clinched a majority in the House early last week, but the current projection by Decision Desk HQ shows a slim one, with Republicans controlling 219 seats to the Democrats 211, beating the 218-seat threshold for a majority. Some races have yet to be decided, but the majority will be slim regardless of races not yet called.