The political and media class never saw Donald Trump’s election coming.
Only Trump’s supporters believed he could win the election.
And Speaker of the House Paul Ryan – who nominally endorsed Trump – has made a stunning admission about what he thought Trump’s chances really were.
One of the major subplots of the 2016 Presidential campaign was the relationship between Donald Trump and the Speaker of the House.
Heading into the general election, Ryan was the highest ranking elected Republican and avatar of the establishment.
Although he did endorse Trump, many believed Ryan and his establishment backers were secretly working to elect Hillary Clinton so they could seize control of the party back from the grassroots – who nominated Trump – ahead of the 2020 campaign.
Ryan constantly undermined Trump – and even smeared him as a racist at one point – as one media-generated controversy after another flared up.
The establishment’s rejection of Trump reached a boiling point in October when the Washington Post published a 2005 Access Hollywood tape, where Trump was caught making lewd comments about women.
Following the second Presidential debate – which many thought Trump had turned in a strong performance – Ryan cut the GOP nominee loose, saying he would no longer defend him.
Many in the media and professional political class chalked this moment up as the decisive act which would finally doom Trump to defeat.
But on November 8th, Trump’s supporters rejected the media and establishment’s attempt to confuse the real issues of the campaign – the fight against globalization and the elite’s abandonment of the working men and women of America – with fake controversies, and delivered a decisive Electoral College victory to Trump.
And in a new interview with 60 Minutes, Ryan admits he never saw Trump’s victory coming.
The New York Post reports:
House Speaker Paul Ryan was stunned when long-shot candidate Donald Trump won the GOP presidential nomination — let alone the White House, Ryan admitted in an interview.
“I didn’t see this one coming,” Ryan told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in a segment set to air Sunday. “He knows that. Donald Trump’s a very — he was a very unconventional candidate. He’s going to be an unconventional president. What I like about it, is he’s just a get-things-done kinda guy.”
Ryan also claims – though not very convincingly – that he wasn’t trying to sabotage Trump, but rather help the GOP retain their House Majority.
The Post also reports:
“During the waning days of the campaign, the Wisconsin congressman also played cute with his endorsement.
After saying in June he would vote for Trump, he threatened to withdraw his support after the October release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump used crude language to boast about grabbing women.
The speaker said then he was focusing not on Trump but on keeping the House in GOP hands, prompting Trump to suggest Ryan was trying to sabotage the campaign.
But the two have apparently rebuilt whatever bridges had been burned, with the top House Republican saying he and the president-elect now speak daily.
“We’re fine. We’re not looking back. We’re looking forward,” Ryan said.”
But the GOP House majority was never really in danger.
What was in danger was Ryan’s future Presidential prospects.
And that was what he tried to protect in his efforts to sabotage Trump.