Outside the Beltway, the right is livid with new Speaker Paul Ryan’s trillion-dollar spending deal with Democrats.
Conservative pundit Ann Coulter says Ryan, just seven weeks on the job, is ripe for a primary challenge. “Paul Ryan Betrays America,” blared a headline on the conservative site Breitbart.com. And Twitter is littered with references to the Wisconsin Republican’s new “Muslim beard.”
Ryan is refusing to let the attacks go unanswered and is using his megaphone as the nation’s top elected Republican to try to drown out the chorus of conservative critics.
After Congress passed the nearly $2 trillion government funding and tax-cuts package last week, Ryan touted conservative victories in a roundtable with Capitol Hill reporters, on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, and again during a trio of interviews with friendly conservative talk radio hosts Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt and his old political mentor, Bill Bennett.
“He will continue to talk directly to conservatives throughout the country as he has always done,” a Ryan aide said.
Ryan has repeatedly stressed that the bipartisan funding agreement lifted the 40-year federal ban on crude oil exports and renewed hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks for U.S. businesses and families.
But in a nod to the critics, Ryan has also emphasized that he “inherited” the flawed omnibus from his predecessor, ousted Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and that the cake was “already baked” by the time he was handed the reins in late October.
Those arguments have done little to sway some of Ryan’s critics, particularly on conservative talk radio.
Read the rest of the story at The Hill.