According to two anonymous sources close to the Republican nominee, Trump wants Speaker Ryan to be punished for not giving him unwavering support.
In the case that Trump loses, it is unclear what role he would play in a post-election Republican Party. We know from other Trump rivalries - he never forgets someone who’s offended him: sending circled photos of his hands for years to a writer who critiqued them, ongoing insults via Twitter to enemies, etc. If Trump wants to ruin Speaker Ryan’s career, enthusiasm level would not be an issue.
Trump's repeated tweets against him appear to be working. Ryan's approval numbers have dropped significantly after the Republican nominee went after him several times via his favorite social media site. We have yet to see if such online attacks would still be effective months after a possible Trump loss.
Perhaps not Trump, but his surrogates, will continue the killing of one of their own. Campaign CEO Stephen Bannon could return to Breitbart, where he would continue hammering Ryan – something he’s been doing since day one of his speakership.
After losing the GOP primary in Wisconsin’s first district by 68 points, Paul Nehlen has announced he will challenge Ryan again… for the speaker’s gavel. The speaker does not have to be a member of Congress, but a non-member has never been elected.
Something that seems slightly more realistic – some members in the Freedom Caucus are mumbling over a possible challenge to Speaker Ryan. To be fair, Politico reported that others in the group are threatening to quit altogether if such an extreme measure is taken. Rep. Mark Meadows has spoken last week regarding such a move by the renegade Republican group.
Eating one of their own is nothing new in Republican politics. However, nothing to this degree has taken place in recent memory. A presidential nominee seeking the demise of the Speaker of the House and member of his own party?
It should be noted, Ryan did not ask to be speaker. After the abrupt announcement from John Boehner that he would be leaving, House colleagues begged Ryan to put his hat in the ring because he was the most respected member in Congress. Other contestants for the position dropped out of contention out respect for him when he officially announced his candidacy for the position.
Speaker Ryan has gone on to raise more money for the Republican Party than ever before – setting one fundraising record after another.
Before his current leadership position, Ryan was Chairman of Ways and Means - the premiere committee in drafting legislation for tax and entitlement reform. Before that, he was Chairman of the Budget Committee, where he developed his famous budget crunching legislation – The Path to Prosperity.
He now has laid out a more comprehensive conservative agenda in A Better Way.
These are specific conservative policy outlines that I’m hard pressed to find another House member to replicate.
Would the Republican Party really be better off turning their back on Paul Ryan?