Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) claimed that that former President Donald Trump will likely lose the Republican presidential primary race in 2024 if enough ‘Never Trumpers’ in the party rally together to stop him.
“Whether he runs or not, I don’t really know if it matters,” Ryan said during a conference for Tenneo, a public consulting firm, in Manhattan Thursday. “He’s not going to be the nominee, I don’t think.”
VIDEO: Former Speaker Paul Ryan says former President Donald Trump won’t be the Republican nominee in 2024, when the RNC gathers in Milwaukee: “We all know he’s much more likely to lose the White House than anybody else running for president on our side of the aisle.” pic.twitter.com/JCE2TsHu7A
— Jason Calvi (@JasonCalvi) October 14, 2022
Ironically highlighting the groupthink of the establishment wing of the Republican Party, Ryan went on to say that “as soon as you sort of get the herd mentality” of the Never Trumpers going, “it’s unstoppable.”
“I think Trump’s un-electability will be palpable by then,” Ryan said. “We all know he will lose, or let me put it this way: we all know he’s much more likely to lose the White House than anybody else running for president on our side of the aisle. So why would we want to go with that?”
Ryan went on to say that voters can always rely on political “ambition” to present a candidate vying to be the party’s alternative to Trump.
“The one inexhaustible power in politics in ambition,” Ryan claimed. “You can count on that.”
“I think people will delay their decisions, and they’ll wait for somebody else to take the first plunge to take the ire of Trump, to have him go after that person and try and hurt them with MAGA voters, so then they can follow behind,” Ryan said.
“So, it’s kind of a prisoner’s dilemma,” he continued. “But the person who gets in the race earlier can organize earlier, can sign up supporters earlier, can sign up donors earlier, can get a better jump on it, so it really is a total prisoner’s dilemma.”
Ryan’s remarks don’t square with reality given Trump’s popularity within the GOP, who has a 58% favorability, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trailing behind at 23%, according to a recent FiveThirtyEight poll.
It’s also worth noting that most of the anti-Trump elements of the party who voted to impeach the former president have been extricated from the party by the GOP base or lost their primary races, like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
Meanwhile, candidates who support Trump have largely won their respective primaries and are performing well against their Democrat opponents ahead of the midterms.
Ryan, who served as House Speaker from 2015-2019, supported Trump’s second impeachment in 2021, prompting the former president to call him a “pathetic loser.”
Ryan’s remarks are more rooted in Never Trump fantasy than in tangible reality, similar to the chorus of voices in 2016 who claimed Trump could never be the GOP nominee or win the election against Hillary Clinton.
Watch Ryan’s full remarks: