On Monday, former House Speaker Paul Ryan cautioned that President Donald Trump might not have a good chance at re-election, as he believes there are some Democrats who could beat Trump in the 2020 presidential election if he continues to define himself through his personality.
According to Politico, Ryan made the above comments at a speech in Vero Beach, Florida, where he also recalled how his time as speaker was defined by a noticeable political divide. He reportedly emphasized the need to focus on policy, while also encouraging Trump to do the same as he gets ready for his 2020 re-election campaign. This, he said, is important because of the presence of unnamed Democratic candidates who could become president if Trump doesn’t pay greater attention to the policies he plans to implement if re-elected.
“The person who defines that race is going to win the race. If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it.”
In a separate report, Newsweek wrote that Ryan’s warning came on the heels of the release of early surveys that suggested a number of Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, could have an edge over Trump in next year’s election. The comments about Trump and his personality were also among the first public remarks Ryan had made since his term as speaker ended in January.
Ryan, who chose last year not to run for re-election in the 2018 midterm elections, has had a “strained” relationship with Trump in recent times, Newsweek added. The outlet noted that Ryan and Trump had frequently butted heads over immigration policies, with the president allegedly blaming the former speaker in January after he was unable to secure funds for the planned U.S.-Mexico border wall.
PAUL RYAN on 2020: “If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it.” The latest in Playbook: https://t.co/99AQhzYtGi
— POLITICO Playbook (@playbookplus) March 12, 2019
Furthermore, both Newsweek and The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel cited certain passages from House of Vipers, the recent tell-all book from former White House communications staffer Cliff Sims, to illustrate the tension between Donald Trump and Paul Ryan. The book alleged earlier this year that Trump once told Ryan that Democrats have been “kicking [his] a** for decades” because they value loyalty more than he does.
The above remarks were reportedly made after Ryan criticized the president’s controversial response to the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally in the summer of 2017.
“Why do you think [then-Minority Leader] Nancy [Pelosi] has held on this long? Have you seen her? She’s a disaster,” Trump reportedly told Ryan.
“Every time she opens her mouth, another Republican gets elected. But they stick with her…. Why can’t you be loyal to your president, Paul?”
While Politico noted that Ryan did not comment on the times Trump had recently criticized him over immigration-related issues, the publication explained that the former speaker pushed for immigration reforms during his Florida speech and also expressed hopes that Congress would consider an increase in border security funding.