The dozen remaining Republican candidates continue to flock to Iowa and New Hampshire, continuing the chaotic campaign season that has just fully started. But back home, there is a name continuing to emerge as the person who is appearing to steer his own fortunes to stronger waters; House Speaker Paul Ryan.
As the holiday rumor mill hit high gear that a Ryan floor nomination was in the works, recent actions by the Wisconsin Republican continues to give credence to that possibility.
The Washington Post’s political section called The Fix stated that the speaker has been giving interviews to discuss ideas in a tone that comes across as the exact opposite of the bombastic nature the current primary campaign has become, specifically from GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
This is similar to the tempered, yet strong, reaction of Trump’s proposal for a temporary ban of all Muslims entering the nation. There he chided Trump with a simply-firm response opposite to the fiery rhetoric Trump often gives.
Ryan has also stepped back and even apologized for comments in the past that were potentially divisive. There was his Sunday interview on CBS’s Face the Nation where he apologized for saying in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that there were “takers” and “makers” in today’s economy.
“Most people don’t want to be poor,” he said to John Dickerson. “Most people don’t want to be dependent. And if we speak as if everybody is in this category, that’s wrong. And so that’s what I did, and I was wrong to do that.”
In the same conversation, Ryan pushed back against Trump’s anti-conservative agenda while sticking with the popular attack against political correctness.
“I think political correctness has gone way overboard. And that’s the new thing in the campaign, which I think is great. But let’s just be accurate. Let’s be right,” he said. “Let’s not have populism that’s unattached from our principles.”
Along the presidential lines, too, Ryan has moved towards issues that are not popular on the trail, mainly poverty. While talking to Yahoo News, Ryan said:
“After 2012, it became clear to me getting out of Wisconsin, traveling the country in the 2012 campaign, that there are a lotta people hurting in America. The promise of this country isn’t something that people see for themselves. That here are generations and communities where people don’t believe that this American idea is there for them. And if the American idea is not there for everybody, then it’s really not there at all.”
That left The Fix with asking if Ryan’s efforts are to unify a seemingly-fractured party, or positioning himself as the last, best chance against a candidate most insiders would loathe to have on top of the ticket.
“It’s truly, at this point, very much a choice for the GOP between the likes of Ryan and the likes of Trump,” Amber Phillips said.