In an interview with the Associated Press (AP) Wednesday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan refused to rule out citizenship for so-called “dreamers” and then complained of “attacks from Breitbart.”
“Is the speaker supporting legislation that will give DACA recipients a chance for citizenship?” a viewer question to Ryan read, with AP Chief Congressional Correspondent Erica Werner adding, “Do you believe your conference would accept that?”
Ryan would not state that this “path to citizenship,” an amnesty for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal aliens that has been rejected by Congress every time it has been proposed for more than 15 years, was off the table. Ryan said only that, “What I’m not going to do is get ahead of the people who will be negotiating this bill in our conference. I don’t think it’s in our interest to be negotiating through the media.”
The Speaker was less equivocal, however, in his characterization of Breitbart News’s coverage of his leadership on immigration legislation.
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Werner had told Ryan, “Steve Bannon and Breitbart have not been fans of yours the last few years,” an assertion Ryan did nothing to deny.
Breitbart News has undoubtedly published pieces critical of some of the Speaker’s rhetoric and decision-making as head of the House of the Representatives. For example, Breitbart News exposed Ryan’s alleged statements dismissive of the southern border wall, his willingness, in contrast to some of his Senate colleagues, to entertain expansion of the corruption-riddled H-2B visa program, and, as was at issue in Wednesday’s AP interview, his advocacy of amnesty to replace President Barack Obama’s DACA program.
Neither Ryan nor Werner, however, mentioned any of Breitbart News’s positive coverage of Ryan’s accomplishments and prospects as the leader of House Republican’s legislative agenda. In August 2016, Breitbart editor-at-large Joel Pollak penned “The Conservative Case for Paul Ryan,” touting Ryan’s history as a “hero [of] the grass-roots conservative movement” and praising his “rare combination of intellect, courage, and decency.” “The conservative movement will not easily find another leader who is willing to risk the scorn of both base and Beltway to do what he thinks is right,” Pollak wrote.
Breitbart News has frequently reported uncritically and hopefully on Ryan’s legislative agenda, taking his message on reforming the tax code, fixing the Obamacare-driven mess in America’s healthcare system, and his caucus’s success in reining in excessive federal regulation to Breitbart’s grassroots conservative readership.