House Speaker Paul Ryan tells Jay Weber on WISN-Milwaukee talk radio that he does, indeed, have a soul.
Ryan was responding to an accusation that he doesn’t have a soul made by his primary opponent Paul Nehlen.
“For the record, because he’s made these accusations: Do you have a soul?” Weber asked.
“Yes,” Ryan replied with a chuckle. “I’ll give you my priest’s cellphone where you can call him and ask him.”
Ryan said Nehlen’s campaign is an “out of state campaign” that was “mouthing these kinds of screeds,” comparing it to the same type of campaign used to unsuccessfully recall Gov. Scott Walker.
“They are not pushing conservatism, they call this ‘alt-conservatism’ — I don’t even know what this … have you heard of this alt-conservatism?” he asked Weber.
“I have, and it’s just goofy and it’s tied into, often times, like white supremacists groups and fringe groups, it’s really a nasty virulent strain of something, it’s not conservatism,” Weber replied.
“That’s right,” Ryan continued. “It’s a nasty virulent strain of something, I don’t even know what it is other than it isn’t us, it isn’t what we believe in. And it’s not what the Constitution says and it’s not what conservatives, particularly Wisconsin conservatives, believe in.”
Ryan dismissed Nehlen’s campaign, suggesting that he was a candidate that didn’t belong in Wisconsin.
“I don’t think that people are gonna trade that for an interloper for these scam PACs and out of state campaigns, who just make stuff up,” he said.
Ryan admitted that some people may be starting to believe Nehlen’s message, but he appeared confident that he would win his primary and “send these scam PACs packing.”
“I just don’t think that works here in Wisconsin,” Ryan said. “We’re just hoping and encouraging everybody to go to the polls on Tuesday.”
Weber asked Ryan if he thought that Donald Trump’s refusal to endorse him was part of some lingering resentment.
“Heck if I know,” Ryan replied. “I’m just going to rise above this stuff and I’m not going to get involved in some sort of petty back and forth, I see no purpose in doing that.”
Ryan laughed when Weber asked him if he was for “open-borders” and “amnesty” citing Nehlan’s accusations.
“No, I’m not,” he replied, citing his vote for border fencing and increasing border patrol agents in his last budget.
Ryan also backed away from his support of Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade deal, claiming that the president “screwed it up.”
He said he wouldn’t bring up TPP for a vote, because the House doesn’t have enough votes for it.