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Paul Ryan on GOP's future: More about Ronald Reagan than Donald Trump

Ryan, Trump to meet to discuss GOP party ideas
Posted at 2:26 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 23:28:08-04

MILWAUKEE — Former Speaker Paul Ryan is back in the political arena Thursday night for a high-profile speech at the Reagan Presidential Library in California on the future of the Republican Party.

In excerpts obtained by TMJ4, Ryan is expected to emphasize the path forward is more about Reaganism and less about Trumpism.

"If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and mettle," according to the excerpts.

Ryan does give President Trump some credit in his released remarks for helping pass the sweeping tax cuts in 2017, a core principle for conservatives.

“These historic reforms were a triumph of practical conservative policy, a model of the shared prosperity and upward mobility we have always talked about. It was the populism of President Trump in action, tethered to conservative principles," Ryan states in the preview.

Ryan retired from office in January of 2019, after serving 20 years representing his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin.

Since then, the 51-year-old has been a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, but has stayed away from the daily give and take of politics.

But during Ryan's speech Thursday night, he's expected to offer this assessment of the outcome of 2020 presidential race:

“In 2020, the country wanted a nice guy who would move to the center and depolarize our politics. Instead, we got a nice guy pursuing an agenda more leftist than any president in my lifetime. These policies might have the full approval of his progressive supporters, but they break faith with the middle-of-the-road folks who made the difference for him on Election Day," Ryan is set to state.

President Joe Biden carried Wisconsin by 21,000 votes in 2020. Wisconsin Democrats say Ryan's message still misses the mark.

“Republicans might be in the middle of a civil war, but they can always agree on rigging the economy in favor of corporations and the super-wealthy while ignoring the needs of working families, said Ben Wikler, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Ryan's speech is part of new speaker series called A Time For Choosing by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute. Other speakers this summer include former Vice President Mike Pence and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley

You can watch Ryan's speech at 8 p.m. Milwaukee time by clicking here.

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