JANESVILLE, WI — House Speaker Paul Ryan received a standing ovation from wealthy donors after denouncing the views of Republican voters, who are skeptical of so-called “free trade” deals.
Speaking at a lavish retreat for 400 donors hosted by a network helmed by libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch, Paul Ryan suggested it was incumbent upon the Party to “repudiate” the views of Republican voters, who do not support Ryan and his donors’ trade agenda.
Ryan reportedly assured donors that he will work to “win some of these fights” and advance their agenda on trade — presumably meaning that Ryan plans to push through the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, supported by GOP donors.
The Washington Post reports that Ryan’s message was warmly received by those in attendance at the elite retreat — noting that Ryan was “clearly a favorite” amongst the network of donors:
The House speaker is clearly a favorite of the Koch donor network, and he was received with a standing ovation and whoops. The audience interrupted him several times with hearty applause.
Echoing the sentiment of Washington conservatives such as talk radio host Mark Levin, Ryan expressed his concern to donors that the Republican Party has been taken over by progressive populists, who fail to understand the benefits of multinational “free trade” deals.
Ryan told donors that the views of these voters must be “repudiated.”
“We are flirting with various forms of progressivism, and there are Republican forms of progressivism. Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican,” Ryan said. “We have to thoroughly debunk it, repudiate it.”
Indeed, Mark Levin has similarly explained, “What I see developing is not a conservative coalition, but a coalition on the Republican side of big government advocates.”
“The Republican Party now is a party of the progressive Republicans. Theodore Roosevelt… the protectionists, Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, the No-Growthers,” Levin has said.
Ryan reportedly suggested that the GOP is engaged in the “fight for the soul of our party and for our country” over the issue of international trade.
Indeed, on this issue, Trump and the Republican electorate who support him find themselves opposed by Republican leadership, Republican donors, and professional Republicans like Mark Levin.
As Time writes:
Trump won the Republican nomination by railing against trade deals and promising that manufacturing jobs would return if only better international agreements were written. Frustrated voters flocked to Trump and his vague notions. This network of Koch allies, known formally as Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, watched in horror.
Ryan seemed to assure donors that Washington Republicans would fight to advance their shared agenda: “We’ve got to win some of these fights in Washington on behalf of the free-market system. We have our work cut out for us.”
The Washington Post seemed to suggest that Ryan will fight Trump’s plan to implement better trade deals for American workers:
Ryan touted the importance of free trade, an issue Trump has railed against, and said it was essential that party leaders make a better case for the free market. Trump argues that free trade agreements have hurt American workers, and that better deals are needed.
Time reported that “speaking on the thorny issue of trade,” Ryan noted that “we’re having a hard time with our party these days.”
“We have a different kind of nominee now. It’s unique,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s primary challenger, Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen, has warned that Ryan will sabotage and “thwart President Trump at every opportunity.” In particular, Nehlen has said if Ryan is sent back to Washington, he will “ram through the job-killing Trans Pacific Partnership right after the election” — a deal which Donald Trump adamantly opposes.
Polling data shows that Republican voters are the group most skeptical of globalist trade policies — a fact that has gone unrecognized by Party leaders and professional Republicans.
Pew found that only a vanishing 11 percent of Republican voters believe that so-called “free-trade” will raise wages. By a nearly 5-to-1 margin, Republican voters believe that so-called “free trade” depresses wages, rather than increases wages, and by a greater than 3-to-1 margin, Republican voters believe that “free trade” will kill jobs, not create them.
Yet despite polling data, Republican Party leaders worked tirelessly to give President Obama expanded trade powers.
In 2015, Ryan acted as President Obama’s “partner” in his effort to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In a 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ryan described the TPP as a “historic” agreement, which “would mean greater access to a billion customers for American manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers.”
Ryan was the leading champion for fast tracking the TPP even though Wisconsin suffered a net loss of nearly 40,000 jobs in 2015 alone due to the U.S. trade deficit with TPP countries, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
In his open primary on August 9th, Ryan will likely face some of the very voters whose views Ryan believes the GOP needs to “repudiate.” According to exit polling data, a majority of GOP Wisconsin voters believe foreign trade deals “take away” jobs.
Nehlen, who opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, has warned that Ryan’s trade agenda “will be the fundamental undoing of America.”
Nehlen has warned that the TPP would be “worse than NAFTA. It sets up a super-national organization similar to the European Union. We know all too well what the European Union is doing right now, and we don’t want that to happen here.”
This “massive, job-killing international ‘trade’ deal,” Nehlen writes, “sells out American workers. It sells out American business and industry. It will kill the economy in this district, never mind the rest of the country.”
Nehlen has previously said that Ryan’s support for these multinational trade deals seems to stem from Ryan’s ties to globalist donors, such as the donors whom Ryan presumably spoke to at the Koch Brothers retreat — although, as the Washington Post reports, the complete list of donors Ryan spoke to at the event is not available to the public. “News outlets were invited to cover portions of the Koch seminar, on the condition that they did not name donors in attendance without their permission,” the Washington Post writes.
Nehlen said: “Paul Ryan isn’t representing our district. He’s representing the big businesses and big banks that pour money into his campaign coffers. It’s their agendas he’s carrying forward with his votes in Congress… not ours.”
Ryan’s remarks at the Koch Brothers retreat come on the heels of new reports indicating that the Koch Brothers are refusing to run negative ads against Hillary Clinton — which some have suggested will only help the success of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Ryan’s remarks also come in the immediate aftermath of his decision to join in on Clinton’s latest attacks against his Party’s nominee.
Ryan’s recent statements and actions, which seem designed to undermine the GOP nominee, have led some to speculate that Ryan might perhaps prefer to see Hillary Clinton in the White House than Donald Trump.
Indeed, several reports have documented that Ryan would likely accomplish more of his legislative goals on foreign trade, foreign migration, and foreign wars if Hillary Clinton were president than if Donald Trump were.
Should Ryan win his re-election and Trump lose, it is likely that — as Tim Kaine has predicted — amnesty will be enacted within the first 100 days, the TPP will be implemented, and criminal sentencing laws will be reduced, potentially resulting in an increase in the amount of violent crime and recidivism in U.S. communities.
All of these policies are supported by Paul Ryan, the Koch brothers, and the globalist special interests who fund both the Clinton campaign and Ryan.
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