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Paul Ryan backtracks on whether Trump will be re-elected

Posted at 6:23 PM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 19:23:56-04

(CNN) -- Former House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted Wednesday that President Donald Trump's "record of accomplishment is why he'll win re-election," a significant difference from comments the Wisconsin Republican made earlier this week where he described how he thought some Democrats could beat Trump in the 2020 election.

"To be clear, GOP wins elections when they're about ideas not when they're personality contests like Dems & media want. We're clearly better off because of @RealDonaldTrump," stated Ryan's tweet Wednesday from his @SpeakerRyanofficial account.

"His record of accomplishment is why he'll win re-election especially when compared to Dems' leftward lurch."

Ryan, who left his position at the end of the previous Congress, faced criticism from Republicans overcomments he made Mondaythat he believed some Democrats could beat Trump, according to a report from Treasure Coast Newspapers.

"The person who defines that race is going to win the race," Ryan said during a lecture, according to the publication. "If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn't going to win it."

The comments sparked a direct rebuke from the most senior Republican in the House, Kevin McCarthy, who said on Tuesday that he disagreed with the former speaker.

"I believe this President will win re-election," McCarthy said in response to a question from CNN at a weekly House GOP news conference. "I believe this President could run on many different items."

McCarthy has been a robust public advocate for the President, and on Tuesday morning he dismissed the idea that Trump's personal style could be problematic for his own re-election. "I think you're pinpointing maybe one minute of a one-hour rally," McCarthy said of Trump's freewheeling speeches.

Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, slammed the former speaker on Twitter, charging him with lying about border wall funding that never came and pointing out that the Republicans lost the 2018 midterm elections on Ryan's watch.

"Pretty rich. Mitt Romney's failed 2012 running mate, the speaker who lied to us and didn't deliver Wall funding (and then lost the house) gives advice on winning," Trump Jr. tweeted.