Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) claimed during a recent private event that President Donald Trump risks losing key swing states in November’s presidential election that he won in 2016, according to a Sunday report.
The New York Times states:
Ryan, for instance, offered a bleak assessment of Mr. Trump’s electoral standing at a recent event hosted by Solamere, a company with close ties to Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, and his family.
According to a partial transcript of the comments, shared by a person close to him, the usually tight-lipped Mr. Ryan said Mr. Trump was losing key voting blocs across the Midwest and in Arizona, a Republican-leaning state that Mr. Ryan described as “presently trending against us.”
While Mr. Ryan did not criticize Mr. Trump’s handling of the outbreak, he said the president could not win re-election this year if he continued losing badly to Mr. Biden among suburban voters who were wary of both candidates but currently favor Mr. Biden.
“Biden is winning over Trump in this category of voters 70 to 30,” Mr. Ryan said, “and if that sticks, he cannot win states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.”
The Times’ report comes after a Fox News poll was one of several recent surveys showing Biden is leading President Trump in the race for the White House. Fox News’s survey of registered voters found the president’s Democrat challenger leading him 49-41 percent. The poll, undertaken between July 12 and 15, 2020, comprised of 1,104 registered voters nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, President Trump told host Christopher Wallace that his news organization’s polls undervalued his support, calling it a “fake” poll. “I’m not losing because those are fake polls. They were fake in 2016 and now they’re even more fake. The polls were much worse in 2016,” he said.
Of course, both the polls and Ryan have been wrong about President Trump’s political prospects as witnessed in the previous presidential election. The former speaker was not only cold on the president’s White House bid, but he also pledged not to defend the then-Republican presidential nominee after the Access Hollywood tape was made public.
“His comments are not anywhere in keeping with our party’s principles and values,” Ryan was heard telling Republican lawmakers during a conference call after the tape dropped, according to audio obtained by Breitbart News. “There are basically two things that I want to make really clear, as for myself as your Speaker. I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future. As you probably heard, I disinvited him from my first congressional district GOP event this weekend—a thing I do every year.”
Ryan retired from the House of Representatives in January 2019 after serving three years as speaker and seeing the Republicans lose the lower chamber’s majority in the 2018 midterm election.
Since departing Congress, Ryan joined Fox Corp. as a member of its board of directors and sits on the media giant’s compensation committee. Last August, Politico reported that Ryan and his family moved into a rented home in the Maryland suburbs of D.C.
Ryan made headlines last summer after it was revealed he repeatedly trashed President Trump since leaving politics, taking particular umbrage with the president’s nickname for pornographic actress Stormy Daniels.
Politico Magazine’s Tim Alberta wrote in American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump that Ryan, “Now out of office and trading in his power suits for a blue vest” is once again criticizing the president and “saw retirement as the ‘escape hatch,’” read an excerpt published by the Washington Post.
“We’ve gotten so numbed by it all,” stated Ryan. “Not in government, but where we live our lives, we have a responsibility to try and rebuild. Don’t call a woman a ‘horse face.’ Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t cheat on anything. Be a good person. Set a good example.”
President Trump famously mocked Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — in October 2018 after a federal judge dismissed her defamation lawsuit against him, writing on Twitter: “Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas.”
Alberta’s book also details Ryan’s frustration with President Trump’s approach to governing.
“I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right,” recounted Ryan. “Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government … I wanted to scold him all the time.
President Trump, at the time, fired back at Ryan, mocking him as a “the failed V.P. candidate” and a “lame duck failure.”
“They gave me standing O’s in the Great State of Wisconsin, & booed him off the stage,” the president said of the former speaker.