Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) clarified his comments from his Monday lecture in Vero Beach, Florida about President Donald Trump’s re-election prospects on Tuesday, saying that Republicans win “elections when they’re about ideas not when they’re personality contests” and that the president’s “record of accomplishment” is “why he’ll win.”
The former speaker took to Twitter to clear up comments he made regarding the president’s chances at re-election while speaking during Riverside Theatre’s Distinguished Lecturer Series.
He went on to say, “We’re clearly better off because of [President Trump]. His record of accomplishment is why he’ll win re-election especially when compared to Dems’ leftward lurch.”
To be clear, GOP wins elections when they’re about ideas not when they’re personality contests like Dems & media want. We’re clearly better off because of @RealDonaldTrump. His record of accomplishment is why he’ll win re-election especially when compared to Dems’ leftward lurch.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 13, 2019
Ryan had initially said during his Florida address that the president would not win the presidential election in 2020 if it was “about Donald Trump and his personality,” as IJR Blue previously reported.
“The person who defines that race is going to win the race. If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it.”
His comment caught the ire of the president’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., who called Ryan’s words “pretty rich” in a Tuesday afternoon tweet. The president’s son pointed out that “the speaker who lied to us and didn’t deliver on Wall funding” wanted to give “advice on winning.” Trump, Jr. also brought up Ryan’s unsuccessful vice presidential run as Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) 2012 running mate.
Pretty rich. Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 running mate, the speaker who lied to us and didn't deliver Wall funding (and then lost the house) gives advice on winning.
Paul Ryan: Trump Will Lose in 2020 if Campaign About His 'Personality' https://t.co/DbOkrV8rE4
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 12, 2019
Ryan retired from Congress in January after serving as Speaker of the House from 2015 until current-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) retook the position.
While no Republican primary challengers have declared their formal candidacy against the president,— former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld announced in February that he had formed a 2020 presidential exploratory committee but has not yet announced a challenge — a recent Iowa poll showed that 40 percent of the state’s registered Republicans hoped to see a Republican primary challenger.