House Speaker Paul Ryan is trying to defend his decision to have a personal border wall to protect his home, while refusing to build a border wall to protect America.
Ryan says that the reason he needs a personal border wall is because he has three children.
“Having a backyard fence for three dogs and three kids is not a half-bad idea,” Ryan said during his Monday interview with Wisconsin’s NBC15.
Although Ryan made clear that his children are entitled to play, live and grow up in an environment that’s shielded from external threats, he did not seem sold on the idea that the rest of America’s children should be afforded such protections. When asked if he intended to make “building a wall part of the GOP agenda,” Ryan would not answer.
Nor did Ryan answer affirmatively when asked specifically if, as House Speaker, he would allow legislation “on to the floor of the House to build a wall along the border with Mexico.”
Instead, Ryan seemed to indicate that he could perhaps use his position of power to oppose President Trump’s planned wall — noting that he doesn’t necessarily agree with Trump on “how” to secure the border.
We agree with goal of securing the border. How specifically we secure that border, we will figure that out. In some cases, walls are necessary– what the border patrol experts tell us– and in other cases, they think other things are necessary: high technology, fences and the rest. The point is we agree on the goal of securing the border, no two ways about it. Every Republican agrees with that. The question is, when we get to legislating, we will figure out exactly how to do that.
Ryan insists “every Republican” supports securing the border. In doing so, Ryan is essentially arguing that even Republicans who have authored legislation that would effectively dissolve the U.S. border — such as John McCain, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, and Lindsey Graham — are as equally committed to border security as Ryan is.
Ryan’s effort to defend his personal border wall came during an interview with NBC15’s John Stofflet.
Following the release of a new poll showing Ryan has tanked to well below 50 percent in his primary race, Ryan announced that he would appear on local Wisconsin media.
During the interview, Ryan was about his primary race on August 9 against Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen.
Stofflet noted that Nehlen held a press conference on Saturday in front of Ryan’s personal border wall. During the press conference, Nehlen demanded that Ryan either build a wall to protect the American people, or tear down the wall that protects Ryan and his family.
While Ryan’s controversial 2015 omnibus spending bill rewarded sanctuary cities with federal funding, Ryan failed to provide funding for the mandatory completion of a 700-mile double-layer border fence that Congress promised the American people nearly a decade ago.
Mr. Speaker you’re in a primary race next month. A couple of polls show that things have tightened up with you and Paul Nehlen. And he actually stood in front of your house– in front of the wall around your house– and had a quote that said, ‘Paul Ryan is the most open borders, pro-Wall Street, anti-worker member of Congress in either Party.’ Now I remind our viewers, Mr. Nehlen is a Republican so you’ll be running against him next month. He asks: ‘Can you name one time Paul Ryan fought as hard for you and your family as he fought for corporate America?’ That’s something I want to give you an opportunity to defend and reply to.
Despite having been given the explicit opportunity to respond to Nehlen’s accusations, Ryan seemed unable to answer them.
Ryan did not deny the accusation that he is “the most open borders, pro-Wall Street, anti-worker member of Congress in either party.”
Nor did Ryan provide viewers with a single example of a time he had fought harder for his constituents than he’s fought for corporate America.
Ryan similarly did not dispute the polling data which shows Ryan has plummeted to 43 percent in his primary race.
Instead, the Republican House Speaker simply said that it’s natural for Republican “partisans” to criticize him:
Look, partisans are going to say what they’re going to say. Opponents are going to try and do flashy things to get attention to make they’re points across. I don’t say expect political opponents to say nice things about me. That’s what political opponents do. Having a backyard fence for three dogs and three kids is not a half-bad idea. Especially when it was built 50 years ago. It’s kind of petty to actually do that, to go to a person’s house.
During his press conference, Nehlen said Ryan supports open borders so long as it doesn’t extend to the walled estate where Ryan and his family dwell. Nehlen said that other American families do not have the luxury to similarly insulate themselves from the open borders policies Ryan imposes on the nation.
In his remarks, Nehlen addressed the mother and fathers who have had to bury their children as a result of Ryan’s failure to secure America’s border.
Paul Ryan… if you will not build a wall to honor the mothers and fathers of the dead, if you will not build a wall to protect our children, then, sir, you should tear down your wall and show everyone that you will live under the same conditions as they do.
People like Paul Ryan and Mark Zuckerberg love open borders so long as they stop at the property lines to their mansions. They ensconce their families with walls and fences, but then lecture us about how we have to be more charitable. And lectures us about how America “is more than our borders.”
Nehlen called on Ryan “to release the names of the corporate lobbyists he’s working with on immigration—the lobbyists who mean more to Ryan than the American fathers and mothers, who have buried their American children as a result of our nation’s open borders.”
In particular, Nehlen mentioned Ryan’s decision to ignore the requests of Jim Steinle (Kate Steinle’s father), and Dan Golvach, whose 25-year old son Spencer was also gunned down by an illegal alien.
Nehlen noted that, “on Father’s Day, Dan [Golvach] asked Paul Ryan to accompany him to the place where Dan will spend every Father’s Day for the rest of his life—his son’s grave. Dan wrote: ‘This way Speaker Ryan can see first hand what pandering to the cheap illegal labor lobby means to Americans who can’t afford to put a security fence up around their house.’ But Paul Ryan ignored Dan’s plea.”
When asked about Nehlen’s press conference, Ryan described it as “petty”.
“It’s kind of petty to actually do that, to go to a person’s house,” Ryan said.
However, the fathers and mothers, who have lost their children due to illegal immigration, have echoed Nehlen’s argument– pointing out that Ryan shields himself and his family from the immigration policies he imposes upon the American people.
As George Wilkerson– whose 18-year-old son was tied up, beaten, strangled, set on fire, and tortured to death by his illegal alien classmate while he was on his way home from school– has said:
[Ryan has] got all the protection in the world: Secret Service, big houses with fences, private schools for his kids where they don’t have to deal with all of the people they’re dumping into our cities and towns. He doesn’t have to deal with any of this. He’s got all the protections in the world.
Several of the parents whose children were murdered by illegal aliens have endorsed Nehlen in the primary, and have said that Ryan should be tried for “treason” because of his longstanding support of open borders.
During his NBC15 interview, Ryan said that he stands by his record and argued that the fact that he’s ascended to House Republican leadership proves that he’s “really good” at his job.
Why would my colleagues in Congress draft me to become the Speaker of the House if they didn’t think I was an effective conservative? The very fact that I’m sitting in this position as Speaker of the House drafted by my own Republican conservative colleagues, I think, is a testament to the fact that I’m really good and effective at my job. And I’m very confident that the people I work for in the first district know that and will respond accordingly.
Additionally, Ryan used the local media appearance as an opportunity to, once again, make statements that seemed designed to undermine the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential aspirations.
When asked, Ryan repeatedly refused to say whether he’s “confident that Donald Trump would be a good President” or whether he thinks Trump “can lead this nation.”
When Ryan was asked if he can “stand up and endorse him [Trump] without reservation,” Ryan told viewers that Trump was not his first choice.
Well, I certainly think he’d be better than Hillary Clinton. Look, he wasn’t my first choice. Everybody knows that. He and I have had our differences.
Fox News’ Sean Hannity has said that he’s “sickened” by Ryan’s “unsupportive comments” about the GOP presumptive nominee. Hannity said that he’s never seen Ryan and Republican leaders “fight Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton this hard.”
In light of Ryan’s effort to “sabotage” the GOP in 2016, Hannity said that it may be time to get a new Speaker:
This open effort now to sabotage the person that got the most votes in a primary, I’m sick and tired of it, and it’s got to stop, or maybe it’s time to get a new Speaker. If he [Ryan] doesn’t want to get on board, if he doesn’t want to support the candidate… maybe it’s time for new leadership in Congress.
Hannity also expressed frustration with Ryan’s statements undermining Trump’s plan for immigration reform:
Go do something else because the American people need a wall for our security, we need to listen to our security experts. With all due respect, Paul Ryan, I trust James Clapper, James Comey, Brennan, Michael Steinbeck, General John Allen, and Mike McCaul on this topic more than I trust you.
Similarly, on Monday Fox News’ Lou Dobbs addressed Ryan’s behavior this election. “Speaker Ryan has become a tiresome tremendous embarrassment for the GOP,” Dobbs said. “Ryan has made himself a sad spectacle.”
Dobbs said that Ryan’s has become a “tool” of Republican Party donors and has a long history of pushing trade and immigration polices opposed by the GOP electorate.
[Ryan’s agenda] is not that of the Party, it’s his own agenda… [Paul Ryan is] a man that joined amnesty and open borders advocate, Luis Gutierrez, in a national campaign for the Chamber of Commerce [on immigration]… [and] who supports free trade at any cost…
Ryan has spent more of his breath slamming the Republican nominee– the one chosen by a record number of Republican voters– and all the while Ryan is pushing his own absurdly irrelevant agenda instead of working to actually unify the Party behind Trump and Trump’s agenda, that’s shared by millions and millions of voters. Ryan is proving himself to be nothing more than an eager tool of the establishment or their big donors like Paul Singer and Charles Koch or the most powerful lobby in D.C., the Chamber of Commerce. And that appears to be something of a disappointment to some voters in Wisconsin’s first Congressional district.