At a fiery Monday night rally, Donald Trump again goaded Republican leadership, making an unsubtle reference to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) as unable to “fix a budget.”
“You have people that can’t fix the budget and then they start talking about their nominee, but they can’t fix the budget,” the GOP nominee told a worked-up crowd in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
“Isn’t it really sad that we don’t have stronger leadership on both sides?” Trump went on. “But that’s change if we win November 8th. Believe me, it’s going to change fast.”
These remarks, which ignore that Congress is responsible for passing the budget, indicate that Trump plans to continue publicly swatting at Ryan as the House speaker struggles to manage the fallout for down-ballot candidates as Trump’s campaign falters.
Earlier Monday, Ryan told rank-and-file GOP lawmakers on a conference call that he would not rescind his endorsement but would no longer publicly defend Trump. This prompted Trump to fire off a tweet similar to his comments at the Wilkes-Barre rally in which he called Ryan out by name and told him to stop “fighting the Republican nominee.”
Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2016
Over two dozen Republicans have called for Trump to drop out of the race over a leaked tape in which he brags about groping women, while others are calling on party leadership to stand by the nominee at all costs.
The Republican National Committee, so far, has offered Trump its full support, even as his staffers openly brag about not helping congressional Republican candidates win their races.
The GOP nominee told the crowd in Wilkes-Barre that he’d stay in the race even if he’s “limping across that finish line,” and appears to be doubling-down on the themes that drew supporters to him in the primaries as independents abandon his campaign.
The audience repeatedly broke out into cheers of “drop dead media” and, in reference to Hillary Clinton, “lock her up.”