Benedict Arnold has a new name…
Mitt Romney (R-UT) came to the defense of former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) Friday after President Trump tweeted a response to Ryan’s recent attack on Trump’s character.
“The fault for our 2012 loss is mine alone; @SpeakerRyan was a tireless campaigner, fundraiser, and conservative champion. As the sole person who could unite the House, he acquiesced to be Speaker as a service to the country,” Romney tweeted Friday.
“His selfless leadership and lifelong policy work were critical to the tax and regulatory reform that have helped propel the economy. A man like Paul Ryan does not often come along,” he added.
Romney’s tweets seem to be a response to Trump’s criticism, which followed the emergence of critical remarks lobbed by the former House Speaker.
The president tweeted:
Paul Ryan, the failed V.P. candidate & former Speaker of the House, whose record of achievement was atrocious (except during my first two years as President), ultimately became a long running lame duck failure, leaving his Party in the lurch both as a fundraiser & leader……When Mitt chose Paul I told people that’s the end of that Presidential run. He quit Congress because he didn’t know how to Win. They gave me standing O’s in the Great State of Wisconsin, & booed him off the stage. He promised me the Wall, & failed (happening anyway!)…..He had the Majority & blew it away with his poor leadership and bad timing. Never knew how to go after the Dems like they go after us. Couldn’t get him out of Congress fast enough!
Romney’s defense, however, contains holes. Ryan admittedly ran for Speaker “only reluctantly” and said in 2015 that he would only run on his terms.
“We need to move from an opposition party to a proposition party,” Ryan said at the time. “If I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve.”
He also was not the best at fundraising or campaigning, at least in comparison to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). As Breitbart News reported, he raised $33.72 million so far this year. Ryan’s numbers were, in comparison, abysmal.
As Breitbart News reported:
McCarthy’s current total of $33.72 million outweighed the previous fundraising record of former Republican leader Paul Ryan’s 2017 total of $33.06 at the halfway mark.
Last year, Paul Ryan’s fundraising team raised a mere $15 million through two quarters.
The drama began to unfold after an excerpt from the upcoming book American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump detailed remarks made by Ryan, who recalled his days working with Trump and added that “he didn’t know anything about government.”
“I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right,” Ryan said. “Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government… I wanted to scold him all the time.”
“Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time,” he added. “We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was. Now I think he’s making some of these knee-jerk reactions.”
Ryan also took aim at Trump for calling Stormy Daniels “horse face.”
“We’ve gotten so numbed by it all,” Ryan said. “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.”
Both Romney and Ryan’s distaste for Trump has not remained a secret:
Ryan was always uneasy with Trump. In the spring of 2016, he hesitated before accepting Trump as the party’s candidate, even though he was to chair the Republican National Convention at which Trump would be nominated. In the fall of 2016, Ryan infamously told members of the Republican caucus in the House that they did not have to defend the president when he was accused of using offensive language toward women in a leaked Access Hollywood video.
Romney openly criticized Trump on Twitter throughout the Republican primary, calling him a “phony” and “fraud.” He cozied up to Trump after finding himself on the secretary of state short-list. Although that did not come to fruition, Trump ultimately endorsed Romney’s bid for a Utah Senate seat, and Romney happily accepted. However, he has failed to act as a reliable Trump ally since taking office.