White House Bides Time on Paul Ryan’s Successor
The president appears to be fond of both Steve Scalise, No. 3 in House Republican leadership, and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
President Donald Trump had laudatory comments Wednesday about House Speaker Paul Ryan after the Republican congressional leader announced he would not run for another term.
But as the scramble begins for the GOP leader who will succeed the Wisconsin Republican as House speaker, the White House is not taking sides for now.
Asked about House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s potential candidacy for speaker, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders spoke broadly about all House Republicans.
“The president has a great relationship with a number of members in the House of Representatives who support his agenda, and he looks forward to working with all of them over the course of the next six and a half, seven years,” Sanders said.
Scalise, of Louisiana, is No. 3 in House Republican leadership, after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
The president appears to be fond of both men.
Though Trump and Ryan occasionally clashed when Trump was a presidential candidate — prompting media outlets to speculate the two could never work together — they worked closely during 2017 to push tax cuts through Congress and in a failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, among other issues.
Trump tweeted about Ryan on Wednesday morning:
Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. We are with you Paul!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
During an interview with Fox News Channel’s Dana Perino after his announcement, Ryan said, “I’m really gratified, I feel I’ve made a big difference.”
“I feel like the [Republican] majority is in good hands,” Ryan said. “The president has given us a chance to get a lot done, and we’ve gotten a lot done.”
"I always felt like a Wisconsin guy who came to Washington to Congress to make a difference."
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 11, 2018
Ryan, the Republican nominee for vice president in 2012, listed accomplishments from the first full year under Trump.
“We’ve gotten tax reform done for the first time in a generation. We’ve rebuilt the military from being hollowed out, which was really important,” he said. “We deregulated the economy, which is really helping the economy grow.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who served with Ryan as a congressman from Indiana, issued a formal statement honoring his work.
“Few Americans have done more to advance the conservative agenda over the last 20 years than Paul Ryan, and I will miss his leadership and friendship when he leaves Congress at the end of this year,” Pence said.
The vice president added:
Paul is my friend, a former colleague, a true patriot, and I congratulate him on his long service to Wisconsin and to the American people.
As Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan was instrumental in enacting President Trump’s agenda and we will be always be grateful for his partnership and support.
Under his leadership, House Republicans delivered for the American people. Paul Ryan has been a fierce defender of our military, a leader in ushering historic tax reform through Congress, and a public servant with a heart for helping lift up the less fortunate.
I know Paul will continue to be a great representative for the people of Wisconsin through the rest of his term and we will continue to work every day with him to keep our promises to the American people.
Thank you, Paul Ryan, for your decades of service to our country. God bless you, Janna, and your three wonderful children, Liza, Charlie, and Sam.
Ginny Montalbano contributed to this report.
Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal