Ryan Avoids Talking Trump, Paints Grim Picture Of ‘Liberal Progressive’ Rule

AP

At a town hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Friday afternoon, Paul Ryan painted a grim picture of what the Congress and White House would look like under the “liberal progressive” control of a Hillary Clinton administration.

He also steadfastly avoided talking about Donald Trump.

“This is the America we want. This is our party’s vision for America,” Ryan told a group of college Republicans, holding a pamphlet advertising his Republican congressional agenda.

“What vision to Hillary Clinton and her party offer the people? They want an America that doesn’t stand out. They want an America that is ordinary. There is a gloom and grayness to things,” he continued. “In the America they want, the driving force is the state. Where we are ruled by our betters, by a cold and unfeeling democracy that replaces original thinking. A place where the government twists the law and the constitution itself to suit its purposes. It’s a place where liberty is always under assault. Where passion, the very stuff of life is extinguished. That is the America Hillary Clinton wants.”

Ryan also took a shot at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whose focus on income inequality was extremely popular on campuses like UW Madison.

“If we lose the Senate, do you know who becomes the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee? A guy named Bernie Sanders, you ever heard of him?” Ryan warned. “That’s what were dealing with in a divided government if we lose control of the Senate.”

In a Q&A session after the speech, fresh allegations that Donald Trump inappropriately groped and kissed women without their consent during his decades as a tabloid star and real estate developer never came up. Ryan said over the weekend that he would stop defending his party’s nominee after a leaked “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced showing Trump bragging about taking advantage of women because of his fame.

Asked for his advice to Republican college students on liberal campuses “in light of the upcoming election,” Ryan advised them to avoid getting into a “personality contest. Don’t talk about the latest Twitter storm from somebody.”

“You have to have an agenda. The kind of election we really want to have, it’s not the one we’re necessarily having right now,” he said. “The one we really want to have is saying, ‘We have ideas and solutions, let’s go win this so we earn the right to do it.’”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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