Donald Trump made headlines this week when he questioned whether Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan wanted him to prevail over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Maybe not,” Trump told Good Morning America on Tuesday. “Because maybe he wants to run in four years… or maybe he doesn’t know how to win. I mean, who can really know?” Trump said.
The view that Ryan “doesn’t know how to win,” however, neglects the reality that both Ryan and Clinton share a progressive, globalist worldview, which is at odds with Trump’s “America first” approach. Indeed, both Clinton and Ryan have said that they see themselves as representatives not only for American citizens, but also for foreign nationals and foreign interests. This view that the needs of foreign citizens are equal to the needs of American citizens reflects the belief that Americans are only part of many interest groups that a lawmaker ought to consider when crafting legislation—even as he or she negotiates with other countries, which always put their citizens first.
“I am delighted to be the Senator from Punjab [India] as well as from New York,” Clinton reportedly told a group of Indian-Americans on Capitol Hill in 2005. “I can certainly run for the Senate seat in Punjab and win easily,” Clinton told a group of Indian donors on a separate occasion. Clinton’s remarks became the subject of a hard-hitting 2007 memo circulated by the Obama campaign that labeled his Democratic primary opponent as “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)”– implying that Clinton represents foreign nations and citizens rather than her own American constituents.
Similarly, Ryan has said that he, too, sees his role as a U.S. lawmaker to be the representative of foreign nationals—and, in particular, foreign citizens of India. In 2013, Ryan said he believes that it’s the job of a U.S. lawmaker to “put yourself in… [the] shoes” of foreign citizens such as “the gentleman from India who’s waiting for his green card.”
Both Clinton and Ryan view being American as an intellectual “idea” rather than a national identity, and both support the donor-class’s agenda of open borders, which—as Bernie Sanders has explained—essentially amounts to “doing away with the concept of a nation-state.”
The Clintons have long advocated for their desire to establish a “genuine global community” with “open borders” and “easy immigration.” Just last month, Clinton’s campaign went so far as to indicate that she believes the world has a global right to immigrate to the United States. Similarly, Ryan has a two-decade long history of pushing for open borders—even going so far as to stump for open borders policies alongside Luis Guterriez, who has previously said that his “only one loyalty” is to foreign migrants. Gutierrez, who is Congress’s most vocal proponent for open borders, both backed Ryan for House Speaker last year and has endorsed Clinton for president.
The open borders, internationalist worldview of Clinton and Ryan stands diametrically opposed to the “America first” agenda of Donald Trump, who has pledged that the needs of America and her citizens—not the desires of foreign interests—will be his priority.
“On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy, the jobs, incomes and security of the American worker will always be my first priority,” Trump has said. “America first will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.”
[My policies] will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else… no country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests firsts. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony.
The overwhelming similarities between the goals of establishment leaders in both political parties and the goals of their wealthy corporate donors recently prompted far-left Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein to denounce Hillary Clinton as a “corporatist” and the face of “#TheNewRepublicanParty.”
“Both Democrats and Republicans are funded by big corporate interests,” Stein wrote, noting that these members of Washington’s “uni-party” are united in their shared desire to advance the goals of their wealthy donors rather than the desires of the people. Stein and her party have argued that the Democratic and Republican parties that “cuddle up to Wall Street and special interests” essentially “agree on [a] neoliberal agenda” of “globalization… [and] austerity for the rest of us.”
The divide between progressive globalism and nation-state conservatism perhaps helps to illuminate why Ryan has spent months both quietly and loudly undermining his own party’s nominee for president.
Just this past week, Ryan denounced concerns about voter fraud expressed by his Party’s nominee–insisting that the election results will be inherently secure. Ryan’s spokesman told Buzzfeed that the Republican House Speaker is “fully confident” the election will be carried out “with integrity.”
The statement from Ryan’s office is remarkable given the fact that a 2014 report from the Washington Post documented how non-citizen foreign nationals illegally voting in U.S. elections “likely gave” Democrats the pivotal 60th vote necessary to pass Obamacare. This means that, despite the fact that the healthcare law Ryan claims to oppose may only have been enacted because foreign citizens illegally cast their ballots in U.S. elections, Ryan decided to directly contradict his nominee and preemptively sanction the results of the election.
Similarly, the morning after the second presidential debate, Ryan held a conference call with his fellow House GOP members to announce that he would no longer defend his party’s nominee. Political commentators observed that Ryan’s announcement immediately overtook that day’s news cycle, which otherwise–commentators argue–would likely have been about Trump’s largely well-received debate performance against Clinton. Some suggested that it seemed as though Ryan’s announcement was done with the goal of “intentionally hurting Trump.”
Nationally syndicated conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham blasted Ryan for his “maddening” decision to singlehandedly turn a news cycle that would have been about Trump’s “masterful debate performance” into “a story about himself on a moral high horse, looking down on the plain of all the plebes.”
Mickey Kaus noted that Ryan seemed to have “stag[ed]” the “anti-Trump phone call [to] step on [the] story of [Trump’s] solid debate comeback”
“Clearly @SpeakerRyan stepped on Trump’s debate news w/ his conference call. Gave [networks] an alternative story. He couldn’t have waited a day?” Kaus tweeted.
Garrett Epps, a correspondent with The Atlantic and professor at the University of Baltimore Law School, responded to Kaus: “It’s puzzling. Almost as if he doesn’t want Trump to win…bizarre.”
Kaus replied to Epps noting that that Ryan’s “goal” may have been to “intentionally hur[t] Trump… With Hillary, Ryan might get his amnesty,” Kaus observed.
Indeed, Tim Kaine has previously explained how under a President Clinton and Speaker Ryan, amnesty would be enacted within the first 100 days of a Clinton-Kaine administration.
Interestingly, on the day that WikiLeaks released emails revealing that Clinton told foreign bankers that her “dream” is to enact “open orders.” Instead of forcefully denouncing Clinton’s private declarations, Ryan chose to issue a statement on a decade-old audio tape that revealed Trump’s locker-room style conversation caught on hot mic. Ryan’s announcement that he was “sickened” by Trump’s banter—and the fallout of Republican support that accompanied Ryan’s statement—overshadowed much of the news coverage that the revelation of Clinton’s embrace for open borders might have otherwise received.
Former Ryan advisor Dan Senor was upfront about his desire for corporate media to focus on negative news stories for Trump and not cover Trump’s comeback debate performance. Senor even encouraged members of corporate media to skew their coverage to emphasize the decade-old audio tape that Ryan was “sickened” by and to act “as though the debate never occurred.”
Yet these attempts to seemingly sabotage Trump are hardly a recent development from Ryan. Over the last several months, the Speaker has made a habit of both of overtly and subtly undermining his party’s nominee.
Just prior to Trump’s cinching the Republican nomination, Ryan indicated to Capitol Hill reporters that he disavowed Trump’s campaign pledge to enforce U.S. immigration law. Ryan also made clear that he would not include Trump’s signature policy platforms on trade or immigration in the House GOP 2017 policy agenda. A recent report by The Atlantic spotlighted how Ryan, to this day, continues to oppose Trump on a wide range of issues from entitlements to infrastructure, to trade, to foreign alliances, to immigration, and to crime.
After Trump won his party’s nomination, Ryan dragged out his decision to endorse Trump for weeks—leaving voters with the distinct impression that Ryan does not consider the choice between Trump versus Clinton to be an easy one.
After he finally issued his tepid endorsement of Trump, Ryan continued to be one of Trump’s most frequent public critics—making repeated declarations in high-profile media appearances that would seem to undermine the party’s presumptive nominee.
Beyond simply what Ryan has said to seemingly undermine Trump, it’s also a matter of what Ryan has not said. For instance, Ryan has scarcely discussed the WikiLeaks revelations regarding Hillary Clinton or the pay-for-play tactics of the Clinton Foundation. Nor has Ryan forcefully spoken out against Clinton’s declaration to Goldman Sachs that Americans who want to limit immigration are “fundamentally un-American”—an astonishing statement given the fact that according to Pew polling data, 83% of the American electorate would like to see immigration levels frozen or reduced.
Instead, Ryan has seemed much more aggressive in attacking Trump during interviews about the election than he has been in going after Hillary Clinton.
In fact, Ryan has frequently given fuel to many of the corporate media’s narratives against Trump—by not only refusing to defend his party’s nominee against his critics, but also by subsequently joining in on the left’s pile on of Trump after the nominee was forced to fight back against his critics himself.
For instance, as the corporate media was giving round-the-clock coverage to the Khan family’s attacks against Trump for wanting to curb Islamic migration, Ryan opted to join in on Clinton’s pile on against the Republican nominee.
The piece notes how after “endorsing” Trump, Ryan continued to find “fault with the positions of his party’s standard-bearer” and went so far as to denounce some of Trump’s comments as “the textbook definition of a racist comment” and even accused Trump of employing “anti-Semitic” messaging.
Ryan, who leads the pro-Islamic migration wing of the Republican party, has repeatedly rejected Trump’s call for curbing Muslim migration– despite the fact that Trump’s plan is supported by seven in ten Wisconsin Republican voters.
In a sit-down interview with anti-Trump publication the Huffington Post, Ryan even suggested that he’d be open to suing a President Trump if he were to enact a temporary pause on Muslim migration. Ryan said that he is not giving Trump “a blank check” with his endorsement. His statement is significant because it suggests that he intends to be a greater check on his own party’s president than he has been on President Obama, who has systematically dismantled U.S. immigration law with the help of funding provided by congressional Republicans.
Other examples of Ryan’s efforts to undermine Trump have been more subtle. For instance, during a CNN town hall interview with Jake Tapper, Ryan directly undercut his nominee’s messaging strategy at a time when Trump was trying to grow the party’s tent and appeal to blue-collar voters. When Tapper asked Ryan if he has “more common ground” on issues like trade and foreign policy with Clinton than he does with Trump, Ryan said, “No, no… she sounds like Bernie Sanders on trade. She basically says the same thing he does.” Ryan’s statement was false—Clinton does not hold the same views on trade as Sanders, a fact she made perfectly clear in her speeches to foreign bankers. Yet by insisting that Clinton supports Sanders’ view on trade, the Republican House Speaker was openly contradicting the messaging strategy of his party and his party’s nominee as Trump was trying to reach out to Bernie Sanders voters on the issue of trade.
Yet Ryan’s actions have not gone unnoticed by conservatives.
Over the summer, Sean Hannity said that he was “sick” of Ryan’s “open effort… to sabotage” Trump. “Maybe it’s time to get a new Speaker,” Hannity said. He reiterated this call earlier this week, accusing Ryan and other members of the Republican establishment of “stabbing” Trump in the back and “sabotaging” his campaign.
California Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who voted for Ryan as House Speaker last year, is now calling Ryan “cowardly” and “gutless” for his treatment of Trump. “It’s not good leadership,” Rohrabacher said.
Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who similarly backed Ryan for Speaker, has indicated that he cannot support Ryan if Ryan does not support Trump over Clinton. “Given the stakes of this election, if Paul Ryan isn’t for Trump, then I’m not for Paul Ryan,” Bridenstine tweeted.
The push to remove Ryan as Speaker is “picking up some steam,” said Congressman Mark Meadows–who also voted for Ryan last year after leading the charge to remove Ryan’s predecessor, John Boehner, as Speaker. Meadows explained that a lot of conservatives now “question the loyalty of the Speaker” in light of Ryan’s treatment of Trump.
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs called on Ryan to step aside for his efforts to “undercut” Trump in his fight against Clinton.
“[Paul Ryan] should have the character to step aside,” Dobbs said. “I don’t think he should survive this… This man shouldn’t be there.”
“[Ryan] understands the consequences of what he does. If he undercuts Trump to the point that he loses the election, he’ll be responsible for the next three Supreme Court justices, [and] the direction of the country,” Dobbs said.
“Ryan has no concept of his responsibility as Speaker… and his duty to the nation,” Dobbs added, noting that Ryan’s future has become “intertwined” with that of Hillary Clinton’s. “He is a laughing stock leader. He is a small man dressed up in a big job… Ryan should no more be Speaker of the House than Hillary Clinton should be President of the United States. And make no mistake, the future of those two are intertwined.”
Indeed, the Washington Post recently speculated about the future relationship of the could-be Clinton-Ryan Washington power couple. “Their relationship could become Washington’s most important in determining whether the federal government functions over the next four years,” the Washington Post wrote.
Pat Caddell and others have observed that the revelation of the quiet alliance between the establishments of both parties—praised by corporate media and denounced by grassroots conservatives and liberal progressives like Jill Stein—may prove to be one of the most significant outcomes of the 2016 election and could prove ruinous for the Republican Party. As recent reports have highlighted, in a post-2016 political environment it remains unclear whether the Republican Party can maintain its current structure of being controlled by congressional leaders who represent the desires of the party’s donors but undermine the interests of its voters.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough recently explained, “I got bad news for Hugh Hewitt, the American Enterprise Institute, the Republican leadership, all the fundraisers — Paul Ryan is not the leader of the party. The party believes Donald Trump is the leader of the party.”
Indeed, recent polling shows that a majority of Republican voters say that Trump better represents their views than Ryan. In fact, on the seminal issues of trade and immigration, polling shows that Ryan stands opposed to nine in ten of GOP voters. Many conservatives have noted it would be hard to envision Nancy Pelosi as the Congressional leader of her Party if she opposed nine in ten of her base’s voters on core progressive values.
“We are on the verge of seeing the Republican Party go the way of the Whigs,” Pat Caddell told Breitbart News exclusively. The Party is “at war with their voters. They are literally abandoning their own. The very base that has nominated Trump is a base that Paul Ryan can ill-afford to alienate, but on the other hand, he doesn’t believe in them. He does not believe what they believe… Having lost all of their citadels of strength, the party leaders have now abandoned all of their principles. Paul Ryan is in real trouble.”
Caddell explained that Paul Ryan is the “voice” of a Washington establishment that has “absolutely made clear” that it would prefer Clinton over Trump. “What you have is a Bush and Clinton dynasty. And the curtain has risen on the corruption that they’re all in the same game and that ultimately they’re allies. That’s what the American people have been revolting about. I fear that the establishment’s mind doesn’t even understand that that’s what the base is revolting against.”