Ryan Dismisses Talk His Speakership Is In Danger: ‘I Feel Very Good Where I Am’

Bill Clark

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters Monday that he felt confident he would be re-elected as speaker after a contentious election cycle that laid bare deep divides in the Republican Party.

“I feel very good where I am,” Ryan said after giving a speech at the local GOP office in Racine, Wisconsin, according to Politico. “I’ve gotten such a great outpouring of support from members. They know I took the job as a sense of duty, that duty is not done, and I plan on continuing doing that duty.”

Ryan’s reluctant support of Donald Trump and frequent disavowals of his inflammatory comments have sparked accusations of disloyalty from congressional supporters of the Republican nominee. Trump has himself made Ryan a frequent target, mocking him as a “weak” and “ineffective leader” for refusing to embrace his candidacy.

The speaker said the story was different behind Capitol Hill’s closed doors.

“I’m talking to members constantly all month long,” Ryan told Politico when asked about rumors of mutiny in his ranks. “This is what I do. If you are in leadership, you talk to members constantly.”

Republicans are expected to retain control of the House, and Ryan said he feels “really good about our majority.”

The House speaker told Politico that his “Better Way” agenda, a set of traditional conservative policy proposals that he has heavily promoted on the stump and in high-budget ads this year, “has been a godsend” for Republicans locked in tight races.

“It’s really helped them out,” he said. “They have a positive message.”

Ryan largely avoided commenting on Trump’s campaign during the 2016 race, pointing reporters to his “Better Way” policies as examples of where he wants his party’s focus to be.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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