Former Speaker of the House and failed 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in a rare interview on Monday that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election and that the Republican Party will “just keep losing” elections if it continues to fetter itself to ex-President Donald Trump.
Ryan served eight terms in the United States House of Representatives and was elected Speaker in October of 2015 when his predecessor, Ohio Republican John Boehner, retired. Ryan returned to private life in 2019 after Democrats regained control of the chamber in the 2018 midterms. He was succeeded by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and has stayed out of the public spotlight since then.
“President Trump lost the election. Joe Biden won the election. It was not rigged. It was not stolen. Donald Trump lost the election. Joe Biden won the election. It’s really clear,” Ryan told correspondent Kent Wainscott of WISN 12, an affiliate of ABC News.
“So the fact that we continue to have election audits?” Wainscott asked.
“He exhausted his cases. He exhausted the court challenges. None of them went his way, so he legitimately lost. Is there mischief, organized shenanigans in elections? Sure. Is there fraud? Yes. Was it organized to the extent that it would have swung the Electoral College and the presidential election? Absolutely not,” Ryan replied.
He did not offer specifics.
Ryan’s tenure as Speaker overlapped with the first half of Trump’s tumultuous presidency and the two men were often at odds over policy. He frequently expressed displeasure over Trump’s boorish comportment and believes that the GOP’s cultish devotion to Trump is politically toxic and unsustainable.
“I think it’s a big mistake for the Republican Party to be a party about a person or personality,” Ryan said. “And I think we’ll just keep losing if we wrap ourselves around one person. We have not lost this much this fast in a long, long time.”
Ryan also indicated that he has no intention of running for president in 2024 or any other elected office.
“I like being where I am right now, a private citizen with a great family life, working on some big ideas at think tanks and teaching young minds at Notre Dame,” Ryan said.
“You don’t see yourself on a ballot again?” asked Wainscott.
“Not presently I don’t. Who knows what the future holds down the road, but nothing in the near future, that’s for sure,” Ryan said.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.