The Speaker of the House of Representatives, failed one-time GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, is picking a fight with incoming President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence over the Trump administration’s vow to tackle corruption in Big Pharma.
Trump promised during his press conference in New York City at Trump Tower last week to reform the pharmaceutical industry to ensure proper bidding procedures take place—among other reforms to the major industry—moving forward.
“We have to get our drug industry coming back,” Trump said at the press conference. “Our drug industry has been disastrous. They’re leaving left and right. They supply our drugs but they don’t make them here, to a large extent. And the other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry, because they’re getting away with murder. Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists, a lot of power. And there’s very little bidding on drugs. We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly. We’re going to start bidding. We’re going to save billions of dollars over a period of time.”
Later, in an interview with the Washington Post, Trump doubled down on his criticisms of Big Pharma. “They’re politically protected, but not anymore,” Trump said in that interview of drug companies.
Trump’s comments sent the pharmaceutical industry, according to Fortune Magazine, into a financial tailspin. So naturally, Ryan–the donor class’s representative in Washington–rode into the rescue and to fight Trump.
Ryan, in response in an interview with Mike Allen of Axios, said that he wants to “have more conversations about” Trump’s efforts to crack down on Big Pharma corruption before the president-elect—soon to be president—does so.
“I believe that the current premium support system with Part D works extremely well,” Ryan said. “I think there’s some real success stories … and I think we need to tell that story.”
When asked by Allen if that also means telling such stories to Trump, he replied that the story needs to be told to “a lot of people.”
“I think [incoming Health and Human Services Secretary] Tom Price understands this issue extremely well,” Ryan said.
When asked specifically about Trump’s Washington Post comments about how the drug companies are “politically protected, but not anymore” under Trump’s administration, Ryan replied: “I don’t speak like that, generally speaking. I’m always looking for win-win situations, and I believe there’s a lot more we can do to bring down the price of drugs.”
The tension is yet another example of where Trump’s populist nationalism—he’s a president for the working class, and wants to stand up for American workers against world financial, cultural and political elites—is rubbing up against Ryan’s globalist elitism. Ryan is someone who is joined at the hip with the donor class, and hardly ever does anything anymore because he thinks it’s the right thing to do: Ryan’s motives are usually on behalf of whoever is funding Republican campaigns including his own, but he;s also driven by his open borders, elitist ideology. Expect more clashes soon.
Then, as the interview Ryan did with Allen seeps in throughout Washington, his office released a video of him showing Trump, incoming First Lady Melania Trump and incoming Vice President Mike Pence a view from the Speaker’s balcony at the U.S. Capitol in a seeming attempt to smooth things over with Trump and Pence.
While the video makes it look like they’re getting along, sources in both camps tell Breitbart News to not expect this bromance to last.