For Rabid Republican Base: Actions Speak Louder than Vague Words
By: Meredith Kelly
Immediately following Paul Ryan’s lukewarm rebuke of Donald Trump yesterday, Trump has announced that next Tuesday he will host an event in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, WI.
Trump’s event announcement further underscores that when it comes to influencing the GOP presidential primary, Paul Ryan is trying to fight a forest fire with a squirt gun. The hateful, bombastic businessman understands what Paul Ryan appears not to – that actions (going to Ryan’s hometown to make a point) speak louder than very vague words (empty speechifying to a room of interns).
“Much to Paul Ryan’s dismay, Donald Trump has driven the narrative of the primary election, which will only continue to grow stronger between now and November. And the next stop is Paul Ryan’s backyard. Unlike Paul Ryan, Donald Trump knows that if you want to impact the direction of the presidential contest, actions speak louder than vague words,” said Meredith Kelly of DCCC.
|A Tale of Two Events|
|Paul D. Ryan||Donald J. Trump|
|Who||Select group of Capitol Hill interns||Open to the public|
|What||A toothless speech + questions from said interns only (no press questions)||A town hall meeting|
|Where||The Ways & Means Committee Room, tucked away in Ryan’s Capitol Hill fortress of solitude and safely away from where the GOP primary is unfolding||Smack in the middle of Paul Ryan’s hometown & Congressional district|
|When||3/23/16, on the last day before the Ryan-led House takes another weeks-long recess||3/29/16, one week before the WI primary during which Ryan has awkwardly remained neutral as a battle royale unfolds for WI’s delegates|
|Why||To distract from the fact that Ryan failed to accomplish his top goal – passing a budget – before leaving for the recess||To further add insult to injury by campaigning on Ryan’s home turf – after he’s already accused Paul Ryan of being the reason Romney lost in 2012 and told Ryan to get along or “pay a big price”|
Washington Post Editorial: “As the GOP slides toward Trump, Mr. Ryan is a not-so-innocent bystander.”
Washington Post Editorial: “It is more than a wonder — it is a shame — that Mr. Ryan has not repudiated Mr. Trump and promised to oppose him. Doing so would have made clear that Mr. Ryan puts the principles he advanced before partisan loyalty and political calculation, where they firmly belong. Instead, Mr. Ryan continues to be another not-so-innocent bystander as his party slides toward Trumpism.”
Vox: “Paul Ryan’s bizarre speech was a de facto endorsement of Donald Trump.”
Vox: “Given the chance to reflect on the state of national politics, Ryan does not sense an alarming rise in overt racism or anti-Muslim prejudice. Ryan does not feel that anti-immigration sentiment has gone too far. Ryan doesn’t even express alarm at the backlash against international trade. Ryan isn’t worried about protestors getting beaten up at rallies, and Ryan isn’t worried that a leading presidential candidate lies constantly. Ryan just thinks people should be nicer, in general, and that Republicans should say nice things about poor people. All in all, an excellent day for Trump.”
Washington Post’s The Fix: “Dear reporters: Don’t forget Paul Ryan said he would support Donald Trump as the GOP nominee.”
Washington Post’s The Fix: “Ryan (R-Wis.) is quite obviously not a fan of the way Trump campaigns. But here’s the thing: He has said repeatedly that he will back the billionaire real estate magnate should Trump win the GOP nomination. This is a major caveat that should temper any praise of Ryan’s supposed fortitude — and any argument that his words carry weight.”
MSNBC: “What he neglected to mention is that Ryan fully intends to support Trump’s presidential campaign if the frontrunner wins the Republican nomination – even if Trump plays to voters’ anxieties, even if he resorts to trying to scare the public. The Speaker wants to ensure that leaders avoid “enabling” the worst in our politics, but when Ryan commits to supporting Trump, no matter how offensive the candidate becomes, the result has an unmistakable enabling effect. Yesterday, in other words, was a hollow, ultimately meaningless, call for better politics.”
New York Times: “But what Mr. Ryan did not address in his speech has been the inability of Congress to turn those ideas into laws, even with Republican majorities in both houses, or to maintain much decorum in its own chambers. . . . Instead, after years of badgering Democrats about it, Republicans find themselves unable to even cobble together a budget, rewrite the tax code or move forward on changes to the criminal justice system.”