The Washington Post published excerpts from a new book by Tim Alberta this week that included some frank assessments of the Trump presidency from former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). In the book, Ryan reportedly says that when Trump came to Washington, he was a man without direction or clue about how to govern. In Ryan’s account, he was one of the ones who guided the president in the early days, preventing him from making decisions that would undermine the GOP message.
He also took some shots at the president’s character.
“We’ve gotten so numbed by it all,” Ryan says in the book. “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.”
At another point in the book, Ryan talks about Trump’s early days at the White House: “I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right. Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government . . . I wanted to scold him all the time.”
Ryan told Alberta that without him there to steer the ship, Trump’s presidency had drifted into recklessness.
“Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time,” Ryan says. “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.”
Unsurprisingly, President Trump did not take kindly to the criticism. In a series of tweets on Thursday night, he blasted Ryan for his failed run at the top of the Republican congressional caucus.
“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,” Trump wrote.
“He quit Congress because he didn’t know how to Win,” the president continued. “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!”
We’re guessing these two aren’t going to be “doing lunch” anytime soon…