Paul Ryan’s Reality-Defying Debate Commentary Shows Just How Committed He Is To Team Trump

By: Meredith Kelly

On Sunday, Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump’s highest-ranking supporter, was asked about what advice he’d give Trump to prepare for Monday’s debate against Secretary Clinton. Mr. Ryan (0-1 himself in national debates) advised that Donald Trump should “over prepare…prepare, prepare, prepare.”

Good advice, right? So how’d that work out?

  • Trump at minute 29: “Look, I’ve been under audit almost for 15 years…I don’t mind it. It’s almost become a way of life.”
  • Trump at minute 39: “I take advantage of the laws of the nation because I’m running a company. My obligation right now is to do well for myself…for my companies. And that’s what I do.”
  • Trump at minute 57: “And I think I did a great job and a great service not only for the country, but even for the President, in getting him to produce his birth certificate.”
  • Trump at minute 66: “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC…It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?”
  • Trump at minute 89: “She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina.”

Bummer. Clearly things could have gone better for Trump on Monday, as virtually anyone who’s ever done reporting about politics from either side has concluded. Even most House Republicans were disappointed to the point that the most optimistic take they were able to muster was something along the lines of “at least it’s over.”

So it’s really nothing short of bewildering to wake up on Tuesday and listen to Paul Ryan give an assessment of Trump’s performance that seemed to crash-land from another planet:

“I think Donald Trump gave a unique Donald Trump response to the status quo. I think he gave a spirited argument and I think he passed a number of thresholds … which showed that for 90 minutes he could go toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton.”

Either Paul Ryan’s really drinking the Kool-Aid over there at Trump HQ, or he was watching some other debate Monday night, right? Not only did Trump fail to over prepare—he didn’t seem to prepare at all. To be clear: what we saw on Monday was not (sniffles aside) an off-night—it was the same old Trump. For the Donald, debate night is where insults displace insight, crudity trumps self-possession, and the truth is nothing but an inconvenient roadblock. Over-prepare, Mr. Speaker? Trump has been in eleven debates since last August. You should know your candidate better than this.

In another insulting departure from reality, while Speaker Ryan advised Trump to over prepare, he then went on to criticize Secretary Clinton for being too “well-rehearsed” and “polished” in her own debate performance.

Speaker Ryan is so shamelessly partisan that he attacks Hillary Clinton for excelling at the very thing he advised Trump to do, hoping to paper over his chosen candidate’s disastrous performance. It is increasingly clear that Speaker Ryan is only interested in what’s best for his own crass political fortunes, no matter the cost to our country’s security and well-being or his own personal sense of dignity.