Paul Ryan Is Still Mad Trump Didn’t Let Him Make Cuts To Entitlement Programs

WAUKESHA, WI - NOVEMBER 05: House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-R) speaks at a rally held by Governor Scott Walker (WI-R) for a last minute get out the vote event the night before the midterm elections at the Weldall Mfg., I... WAUKESHA, WI - NOVEMBER 05: House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-R) speaks at a rally held by Governor Scott Walker (WI-R) for a last minute get out the vote event the night before the midterm elections at the Weldall Mfg., Inc. on November 5, 2018 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker is being challenged for the seat by Democrat Tony Evers in Tuesday's midterm elections. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has a bone to pick with former President Trump — the 45th POTUS failed to carry out Paul’s legacy of pursuing cuts to safety net programs.

During a book event at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday, Ryan recalled how he and Trump “fought about Medicare and entitlement reform all the time.”

“It became clear to me there was no way he wanted to embrace that,” the former House speaker said.

Ryan went on to admit that, well, cutting back on safety net programs isn’t a popular policy platform to begin with — which he apparently found to be a “frustrating” fact; that Americans aren’t thrilled about taking long-established entitlement benefits away from low-income people.

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“It wasn’t popular in his mind and therefore it wasn’t going to be pursued,” Ryan said. “That was always really frustrating to me, but that gives you an example of where the right is now — which is either we don’t touch it or we reform it. But repealing it is not in the cards.”

During his time in Congress, Ryan was a proponent of cutting back federal spending on safety-net programs such as Social Security and Medicare. The former House Speaker also proposed raising the retirement age for Social Security to 70 in order to shrink federal spending on the programs — despite his retirement in 2018 at 48 years old, allowing him to draw his pension at age 50.

Although Trump would occasionally float policies that would cut aspects of Social Security — which includes claiming that he wanted to nix the payroll tax that funds the program — none of those policies were enacted by Congress.

It’s no secret that Ryan and Trump have been at odds for years. The former House speaker excoriated Trump in a speech last year when he warned Republicans that the party isn’t “going anywhere” if Trump continues to hold a tight grip on it.

“Here’s one reality we have to face: if the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere,” Ryan said during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library last year. “Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and mettle.”

Watch Ryan’s remarks below:

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