Donald Trump Is Not Paul Ryan’s Only Roadblock

“What we need is a clarifying election,” Mr. Ryan said. “We ask the country to break this impasse.”


Continue reading the main story

Democrats thought they won a clarifying election in 2012, when Mr. Obama overcame a robust challenge from Mitt Romney and his running mate — Mr. Ryan. But as he seeks another try at clarity, Mr. Ryan faces major challenges within his party.

Donald J. Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, has not embraced Mr. Ryan’s vision. While Mr. Trump proposes deep tax cuts, his economic agenda reflects his opposition to recent international trade agreements.

Mr. Trump denounces the Obama-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Mr. Ryan has helped usher toward approval, as “horrible.”

“We’re in a global economy whether we like it or not,” Mr. Ryan said. He held out the possibility of bridging their differences by noting Mr. Trump’s stated desire for “good trade deals.”

Their differences on Social Security and Medicare pose bigger challenges. Mr. Trump flatly rejects changes in benefits that Mr. Ryan considers vital to curbing deficits and debt.

“Look, not all Republicans agree on everything,” Mr. Ryan said. But this is no ordinary disagreement. White House leadership represents an indispensable ingredient for revamping vast benefit programs. A President Trump could place Mr. Ryan’s objective out of reach.

Newsletter Sign Up

Continue reading the main story

Thank you for subscribing.

An error has occurred. Please try again later.

You are already subscribed to this email.

View all New York Times newsletters.

Mr. Trump hasn’t yet vanquished Stop Trump efforts by mainstream Republicans who loathe his coarseness, divisive rhetoric and cloudy electoral prospects.

Mr. Ryan’s predecessor, John A. Boehner, talks of tapping the current speaker for the nomination should Mr. Trump fail to secure a first-ballot victory at the Republican convention this summer.

But blocking Mr. Trump by pushing through someone else — “I’m not running for president,” Mr. Ryan insisted — would create its own problem. Blue-collar Republicans are flocking to Mr. Trump’s candidacy out of frustration with the political system’s failure to improve their economic prospects.


Continue reading the main story

Even if they don’t start “riots” over a rival’s elevation, as Mr. Trump has suggested, there’s little reason to expect them to rally behind Mr. Ryan’s economic agenda. On taxes as well as trade and entitlements, many simply don’t support it.

In the interview, Mr. Ryan dismissed the “ridiculous notion” of assessing tax-overhaul proposals according to their effects on Americans of different income levels. “People don’t think like that,” he explained.

In a New York Times/CBS News poll last May, however, 53 percent of Republicans backed higher, not lower, taxes on those earning at least $1 million a year.

Divides like that — over dry policy doctrine or gut-level appeal, or both — make the satisfying clarification Mr. Ryan yearns for ever more distant. They increase the chance that a Democrat will win the presidency in November for the fifth time in the past seven elections, even if Republicans hold one or both houses of Congress.

And that would represent the outcome of Mr. Ryan’s nightmares. Mr. Boehner abandoned the speaker’s gavel in part because he could not balance governing with a liberal Democratic president while leading a conservative caucus. Mr. Ryan, who accepted the job reluctantly, said he feels “very frayed” nerves even now.

“What we’re worried about is having more of the same,” Mr. Ryan concluded. He has good reason.

Source :

Donald Trump Is Not Paul Ryan’s Only Roadblock
Paul Nehlen Launches Another Bid Against Anti-Trump Speaker Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan Out-Conned Donald Trump
Paul Ryan: My support for Donald Trump is not a "blank check"
Paul Ryan Says He Is 'Not Ready' To Endorse Donald Trump Yet
Editorial: Donald Trump is not Paul Ryan's only dubious associate
Trump, Ryan tout unity in wake of meeting
How Paul Ryan Learned to Love Donald Trump
Read Paul Ryan's Speech Calling Donald Trump's Victory the 'Most Incredible Political Feat'
‘Paul Ryan Needs To Resign’: Did Donald Trump Just Call For Speaker To Quit?