Speaker Paul Ryan Goes Silent as Refugee Program Claims Victims at Ohio State University

AP/Evan Vucci

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s press office has yet to make a public comment about the attack carried out by a Somali refugee at Ohio State University, a two-hour drive from Ryan’s own alma mater, Miami University in Ohio.

The seemingly muted response from Ryan’s office is in marked contrast to statements issued by other Republican lawmakers and the President’s spokesman–and is especially noteworthy given that the House Speaker is the third highest-ranking elected official in the nation, just behind the President and the Vice President.

In recent days, the Speaker’s office has sent out press emails to reporters on issues ranging from the death of Fidel Castro to Speaker Ryan’s favorite Thanksgiving food.

Yet there appears to be no press statement addressing the tragedy at Ohio State University and the refugee program that allowed the attack to occur.

Instead, a review of the Speaker’s website since the November 28th refugee attack shows that the Republican issued a press statement praising the selection of Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, as Transportation Secretary, as well as another press statement addressing Trump’s choice of Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary. Ryan also issued several press statements about the recent passage of the 21st Centuries Cures Act, which conservatives have described as “1,000 page omnibus health care spending bill… loaded with handouts for special interests, all at the expense of the taxpayer.”

When Breitbart News reached out to Ryan’s office to ask if they had issued a public press statement about the attack, they did not respond.

The Speaker’s official Twitter page is similarly quiet about the Ohio refugee attack. A review of his Twitter page shows that in the days following the attempted mass slaughter, Ryan’s team posted 33 tweets and retweets about #CuresNow, as well as roughly 23 tweets and retweets about Speaker Ryan’s #ABetterWay agenda, and 10 tweets and retweets about President-elect Donald J. Trump’s cabinet picks.

The only mention of the recent refugee attack on the Speaker’s Twitter page came via a single retweet of an Ohio Congressman, who had expressed his condolences about the tragedy.

Speaker Ryan’s Twitter did not contain a single tweet– or even a retweet– about the nation’s federal immigration or refugee policy responsible for the attack. Nor did Speaker Ryan even craft his own tweet to offer his personal condolences to the American victims of the refugee attack.

Similarly, on Speaker Ryan’s separate campaign Twitter page, he had posted two tweets about football, but not a single tweet about the Ohio attack.

Congressman Brian Babin, who last year introduced legislation to pause the refugee program–legislation which Speaker Ryan decided not to advance–said he has not heard Ryan “say anything” about the refugee program in the days since the attack.

“I haven’t heard him say anything about that,” Babin told nationally-syndicated talk radio host Laura Ingraham on Thursday.

By contrast, President-elect Trump was quick to address the attack and the federal immigration policy responsible for the refugee’s presence in the country.

Trump tweeted that the Somali refugee behind the attack “should not have been in our country.”

Breitbart News reached out to Speaker Ryan’s office to ask if he now had any plans to bring up Babin’s bill and to ask if he agreed with Trump’s declaration that the Somali refugee should never have been in the country in the first place.

Ryan’s office did not respond to Breitbart News’ inquiry.

Ryan’s seemingly muted response is interesting given that the tragedy could have potentially hit home for Ryan–as he himself had been a college student in Ohio. Indeed, multiple reports have noted how it was during his time at Miami University in Ohio, as a young public policy enthusiast and a “frat boy” with a “fondness for turtlenecks,” that Ryan was “able to find” himself.

Ryan’s decision not to actively speak out about the attack is similarly interesting in light of his longstanding support for the refugee programs that brought the attempted killer to Ohio State University.

Indeed, at the time the Ohio attacker, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, arrived in the United States in 2014 with his mother and six siblings, Ryan was working behind the scenes with open borders advocate Luis Gutierrez to whip votes for President Obama’s expansionist immigration agenda.

As Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz has noted, the Obama-backed immigration legislation that passed the Senate “would have created endless avenues for this president to bring in an unlimited numbers of Islamic immigrants from the most volatile corners of the world.” The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) similarly explained that the Senate immigration bill would have given “broad authority to the Administration to create new categories of refugees and stateless persons to be admitted into the country.”

Ryan’s support for the refugee resettlement program has been well documented.

Last year, after the Paris terror attack, Speaker Ryan told Sean Hannity that he did not want to cancel the controversial refugee resettlement program, insisting that we should not allow the threat of terrorism to “dictate” our refugee policy.

“We’re a compassionate country. The refugee laws are important laws,” Ryan told Hannity after foreign migrants carried out the deadliest day of attacks on French soil since World War II.  “We don’t want terrorists to dictate how we run—whether we have a law or not,” Ryan said.

Ryan similarly has a long history of pushing open borders immigration policies, chosing to champion a refugee bill,which conservatives denounced as a “show vote,” because even if it had passed, the bill would still have allowed Obama to bring in an unlimited number of refugees from an unlimited number of countries. As Congressman Walter Jones explained, Ryan’s bill would “do nothing to cut off the funding for President Barack Obama’s plan to import tens of thousands of Middle Eastern refugees into the U.S.”

Moreover, as NumbersUSA’s Rosemary Jenks has explained, Ryan’s bill would not have in any way paused the Somali refugee program responsible for Monday’s attack.

One month later, Ryan chose to champion an omnibus spending bill that fully-funded and even expanded President Obama’s refugee resettlement operation. Ryan’s spending bill funded visas for nearly 300,000 (temporary and permanent) Muslim migrants in the course of a single year.

Indeed, throughout the 2016 election, Ryan has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of making any cuts to Muslim migration— insisting that “that’s not who we are,” and that such a proposal is “not reflective of our principles.”

In a June interview with the anti-Trump publication The Huffington Post, Ryan even went so far as to suggest that he would sue a President Trump if he were to use his executive authority to temporarily pause Muslim migration into the United States.

Yet despite Ryan’s long record of pushing for expansionist immigration policies from third world nations and his repeated efforts to undermine the candidacy of now President-elect Trump throughout the election, Ryan was re-nominated to serve as House Speaker on November 15th by a voice-vote of Republican lawmakers—with the backing of many in the House Freedom Caucus.

Ryan was nominated by House Freedom Caucus Rep. Mulvaney, who shares Ryan’s support for large-scale immigration.

After the Ohio attack, Breitbart News reached out to Ohio Congressman and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan to ask if he plans to support Ryan for House Speaker in January’s election. Jordan’s office did not respond to Breitbart News’s inquiry.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.