Former House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the idea that he was ever a “Never Trumper” but declared Sunday that he is a “never again Trumper.”
The former Wisconsin congressman blamed former President Donald Trump for GOP Senate losses, which led to the party being unable to recapture the majority this election cycle.
“What’s pretty clear is with Trump, we lose. So I don’t mean this personally. It’s just evident. We lost the House in ’18. We lost the presidency in ’20. We lost the Senate in ’20, and now in 2022, we should have and could have won the Senate and we didn’t,” Mr. Ryan, a Republican, said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And we have a much lower majority in the House because of that Trump factor.”
“I’m proud of the [Trump era] accomplishments of the tax reform, the deregulation of criminal justice reform. I’m really excited about the judges we got on the bench, not just the Supreme Court, but throughout the judiciary,” he said.
“But I’m a never again Trumper. Why? Because I want to win, and we lose with Trump.”
Mr. Trump endorsed more than 200 candidates in the midterm elections, most of them Republicans in safe seats who were poised to win.
However, the Trump-backed candidates who lost and their GOP defenders in the Senate say that Republican leadership, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his PAC, were working against them during the campaign cycle.
“Abandoning Blake Masters was indefensible,” Sen Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, said of the Arizona Senate GOP nominee who lost to Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly on his podcast “Verdict.”
Mr. Cruz cited the decision by the Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC affiliated with Mr. McConnell, to yank funds from the Arizona race.
“Because Masters said he would vote against Mitch McConnell. And so Mitch would rather be leader than have a Republican majority. If there’s a Republican who can win who’s not going to support Mitch, the truth of the matter is he’d rather the Democrat win,” Mr. Cruz said.
One race that is still undecided with a Trump-endorsed candidate is the Georgia Senate contest between GOP nominee Herschel Walker and Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock. A Dec. 6 runoff election is scheduled since neither man won the majority of votes in the Nov. 8 general election.
• Kerry Picket can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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