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Ex House Speaker Paul Ryan Slams Trump, Warns Of ‘Populist Appeal Of One Personality’

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized former President Donald Trump during a speech Thursday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Ryan warned Republicans about Trump’s hold on the party and cautioned against drifting away from “core principles of conservatism.” He said that Republicans should move away from the “populist appeal of one personality.”

“Once again, we conservatives find ourselves at a crossroads,” Ryan said. “And here’s the reality that we have to face: If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or of second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and mettle.”

This is not the first time Ryan has spoken out against the former president. Ryan is not the only establishment Republican who has objected to Trump’s grip on the party. Republicans like John Boehner, Ryan’s predecessor, have slammed the current direction of the GOP.

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The only time Ryan mentioned Trump by name in his speech was when he described the “powerful and inclusive economic growth” which occurred at the start of 2020. However, Ryan suggested that this growth was due to Reagan-inspired policy rather than Trumpism: “It was the populism of President Trump in action, tethered to conservative principles.”

Ryan also warned about being caught up in “little cultural battles” with Democrats. “As the left gets more ‘woke,’ the rest of America is getting weary,” he said. “This stuff is exhausting. And we conservatives have got to be careful not to get caught up in every little cultural battle. Sometimes these skirmishes are just creations of outrage peddlers, detached from reality and not worth anybody’s time. They draw attention away from the far more important case we must make to the American people.”

Ryan criticized President Joe Biden and said he is “pursuing an agenda more leftist than any president in my lifetime.”

“In 2020, the country wanted a nice guy who would move to the center and depolarize our politics,” he said. :Instead, we got a nice guy pursuing an agenda more leftist than any president in my lifetime. These policies might have the full approval of his progressive supporters, but they break faith with the middle-of-the-road folks who made the difference for him on Election Day.”

Elizabeth Letsou

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