Day Before Election Paul Ryan Said GOP Not Trump’s Party

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Following president-elect Donald J. Trump’s historic victory, Paul Ryan seemed eager to heap praise upon the next Republican President and his “enormous political feat.”

“What Donald Trump just pulled off is an enormous political feat. It’s an enormous feat in that he heard those voices that were out there that other people weren’t hearing. And he just earned a mandate. And we now just have a unified Republican government,” Ryan told reporters on Wednesday. “If you listened to us in the closing days of this campaign, whether it was crisscrossing America or crisscrossing Wisconsin, we were making an appeal to our fellow citizens and to all Republicans to come home to unify.”

However, Ryan’s fawning regard for the president-elect on Wednesday seems markedly different from the Republican Speaker’s tone just one day prior to Tuesday’s election.

On Monday, Ryan joined strident #NeverTrump-er Wisconsin talk radio host Charlie Sykes to discuss the next day’s election.

“Although Donald Trump won the nomination ‘fair and square,’ the GOP is not his party, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Monday on a local radio show,” The Hill reported in a piece titled, “Ryan: GOP Not Donald Trump’s Party.”

“It is no one person’s party. Donald Trump won the primary fair and square,” Ryan told Sykes before the election. 

“As a party leader, as the highest elected official in the party, I have always felt a duty to the process, to democracy, to the primary voter who must be respected. And he won this fair and square,” Ryan added. “But no one person controls this party. This is a bottom-up, organic grassroots party based on conservative principles.”

Ryan decision to appear on Sykes’ show and declare that Trump does not control the Republican party is interesting, as Sykes has spent months attacking Trump on Wisconsin talk radio.

In turn, Sykes– who was relatively unknown on the national stage prior this election– has appeared on MSNBC to attack the then-Republican nominee, now president-elect Trump.

As Sykes was repeatedly denouncing the party’s chosen standard bearer, Ryan took to Twitter to thank Sykes for his “commitment to advancing conservative principles in WI & nationally.”

Despite Sykes’ and Ryan’s repeated denunciations of the Republican nominee, Trump not only won the presidential election (which Ryan was unable to do when he was on the GOP ticket), but he also won Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin (which Ryan was also unable to do when he was on the GOP ticket).

Trump ran on a platform that is in direct opposition to Ryan’s personal agenda– particularly on the key issues of trade, immigration, and crime. Ryan now says that Trump has earned a “mandate” from the American people.

It is unclear whether the conservative House Freedom Caucus– led by Congressman Jim Jordan– will vote for Ryan to remain as House Speaker in light of the fact that Trump was given a “mandate” to enact policies that are the exact opposite of Ryan’s open borders, trade, and immigration agenda.

Following Trump’s victory, Sykes tweeted that he was “eating crow.”

In October, Sykes announced that he plans to retire from his daily radio show by the end of this year.


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