By Bonnie K. Goodman
Republican nominee Donald Trump is declaring all-out war against the Republican Party after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan decided to abandon Trump and the potential of the White House during the last month of the campaign. On Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, Trump went on a Twitter tirade denouncing the speaker; hours after it surfaced that Ryan will focus solely on Congressional elections and will not help the nominee at all.
On Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to criticize Speaker Ryan, “It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.” Trump also wrote, “Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.” In his third tweet, the GOP nominee jabbed, “Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!”
In his tirade, Trump even praised the Democrats, writing “With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nom the Dems have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans!” Trump also promised, “Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!”
Trump also appeared Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly‘s show “The O’Reilly Factor,” on Tuesday evening telling him about Ryan, “I don’t want his support. I don’t care about his support. What I want to do is I want to win for the people.” Continuing Trump expressed to O’Reilly “the shackles are some of the establishment people who are weak and ineffective.” Clarifying Trump said, “They’re not giving support — they don’t give the support that we really need — but the fact is that I think we should get support and we don’t get the support from guys like Paul Ryan. He had a conference call with congressman, with hundreds of them, and they practically rioted against him on the phone. One person stuck up for him. And I don’t really want his support.”
Ryan’s decision to drop Trump came after a tape from 2005 surfaced with Trump making comments about groping women and attempting an affair with a married woman. Although Ryan did not officially drop his endorsement over two dozen Republicans, have withdrawn their support many calling for him to drop out of the race. Trump’s strong but not winning debate performance stopped the bleeding and the loss of endorsements. Still, he is now trailing opponent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the national polls by nearly 10 percent or more and losing ground in battleground states.
On Tuesday, Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong issued a statement clarifying the speaker’s position on the nominee. The statement said, “The speaker is going to spend the next month focused entirely on protecting our congressional majorities.” Additionally, Ryan’s spokesperson said, “Paul Ryan is focusing the next month on defeating Democrats, and all Republicans running for office should probably do the same.” On Monday, Oct. 10, Ryan had a conference call with GOP lawmakers where he advised them, “You all need to do what’s best for you and your district.”
A source told the press after, that Ryan gave up on Trump capturing the White House, relaying Ryan indicated, “He will spend his entire energy making sure that Hillary Clinton does not get a blank check with a Democrat-controlled Congress.” The speaker’s distancing comes after Ryan issued a statement Friday that he was sickened by Trump’s video and then he disinvited Trump to his first campaign event with the nominee in Wisconsin.
On Monday, Trump started to hit back tweeting, “Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs, and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee.” While his campaign spokesman Jason Miller also tweeted, “Nothing’s changed. Mr. Trump’s campaign has always been powered by a grassroots movement, not Washington.”
Republican members of Congress are also criticizing Ryan’s decision, so far eight in total including, Rep. Billy Long of Missouri, a Trump supporter, Rep. Louis Gohmert of Texas, and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California. These members believe a united party is the best solution. One GOP member said that the better Trump does, the more of a chance they will keep their congressional majorities in the House and Senate, saying, “It’s not rocket science.”
Many Republican Congressional members, especially to the right, are threatening Ryan’s speakership for his defection. Ryan never had unanimous support from the Republican conference with ten party members not voting for him last October. Now Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma is threatening not to support Ryan if he does not support Trump. On Tuesday, Trump also threatened Ryan’s speakership, in his interview with Bill O’Reilly “They’ll be there. I would think that Ryan maybe wouldn’t be there, maybe he’ll be in a different position.”