AP NEWS

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan says Democrats could beat Trump in 2020

March 12, 2019

The right Democrat stands a good chance of denying President Trump a second term, Paul Ryan said Monday.

In a speech delivered in Vero Beach, Florida, the former Speaker of the House said that Mr. Trump needs to run his reelection campaign based on his policies, rather than focusing on his personal brand.

Mr. Ryan, who was the GOP’s 2012 vice presidentialnominee, said the same advice applies for the Democratic challengers in the field.

“The person who defines that race is going to win the race. If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it,” the WisconsinRepublican said.

In one of his first public appearances since retiring from Congress this year, Mr. Ryan used the occasion to talk about his time in Congress.

One of the House’s biggest blunders was taking so long to move a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Ryan said, blaming a lengthy delay in the first year of Mr. Trump’s term on Republicans. He said missteps by the conservative Freedom Caucus doomed an Obamacare replacement bill to failure.

“That three-month delay eroded public support for it, so by the time it got over to the Senate, it was hanging on a thread,” Mr. Ryan said, adding he believed it would have passed the Senate without the significant delays.

While Mr. Ryan added that he saw a lot of legislative success in the first half of Mr. Trump’s term, including tax reform passed in 2017, the opioid crisis response, and bipartisan criminal justice reform, he said more should have been done to reform healthcare and immigration.