Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who was unsuccessful in his 2012 GOP campaign for vice president, regrets being so serious during that time and praised 2016 presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump for his campaign style. But he won’t bet on Trump’s chances in the general election.
“I needed to be more unplugged,” Ryan said during an interview with Politico’s Off Message podcast, recalling the 2012 campaign.
“I think he’s refreshing in that he takes on political correctness … the off-the-cuff, more natural, unscripted element is what is refreshing to people,” Ryan stated about Trump, adding, “within limits.”
Politico’s Glenn Thrush described “an edge to Ryan in private,” which is different from the usual calm and grinning congressman typically seen with his earbuds in, gliding past reporters on Capitol Hill.
Thrush described Ryan’s behavior during the interview as demonstrating “a whiff of vigilant anxiety — the knee pivots under the table when we talk.”
Ryan wasn’t willing to bet on Trump’s chances in the general election this coming November.
“I’m not going to — I’m not a betting man,” Ryan stated. He went on:
I think if we get our party unified, and if we do the work we need to do to get ourselves at full strength, and if we offer the country a clear and compelling agenda that is inspiring, that is inclusive, that fixes problems, that is solutions-based and based on good principles, then, yes, I think we can win.
“When people go to the polls in November, they are not just picking a person … they’re also picking a path,” Ryan explained.
“I think this is a ‘we,’ not just one person,” Ryan added. “I very much believe in a type and style of politics that may not be in vogue today but, I still think, nevertheless, is the right kind of politics.”
Although Ryan refused to bet on Trump against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, he talked “repeatedly of unity with the front-runner,” according to Politico.
He also suggested there will be “Trump Democrats.”