Former President Trump Friday lashed out at Paul Ryan as a “curse to the Republican Party” after the onetime Speaker of the House called for the GOP to steer a path away from his bombastic populism.
Trump let loose with an insult-laden broadside aimed at the former vice presidential standard-bearer just hours after Ryan spoke out against Trump, whom he branded a “second-rate imitation.”
“Paul Ryan has been a curse to the Republican Party. He has no clue as to what needs to be done for our Country,” Trump wrote in an email statement. “(He) was a weak and ineffective leader, and spends all of his time fighting Republicans as opposed to Democrats who are destroying our Country.”
Then-President Donald Trump (left) then-Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (right) (Evan Vucci/)
Trump denounced Ryan as “RINO,” or Republican in name only, who is unpopular with the #MAGA base of the GOP.
“As a Republican, having Paul Ryan on your side almost guarantees a loss, for both you, the Party, and America itself!” Trump said.
The salvo was just the latest attack by Trump on critical members of the mainstream establishment of the GOP, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was recently ousted from her leadership post, and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
Romney and Ryan ran together on the Republican presidential ticket that lost the 2012 White House race to then-President Obama.
“(Ryan) was the single biggest factor, other than Romney himself, for the monumental Romney/Ryan loss,” Trump added.
The attack came after Ryan criticized the party’s direction Thursday night in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in southern California.
“Here’s one reality we have to face: If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere,” Ryan said.
The former Wisconsin lawmaker didn’t mention Trump by name and praised the former president’s administration’s economic policies.
But with a dig at Trump’s effort to overturn his election loss, Ryan left little doubt that he is throwing his lot in with the dwindling group of Trump critics within the GOP.
“It was horrifying to see a presidency come to such a dishonorable and disgraceful end,” Ryan said.
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