Will Paul Ryan Be ‘Cantored’? Sarah Palin Thinks So
An already divided Republican Party saw another big name choosing sides between the presumptive party flag bearer Donald Trump and his reluctant new adversary, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
Former Alaskan governor and GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin took to Facebook on Sunday to jab at Ryan, endorsing his opponent for the Wisconsin 1st Congressional District primary in August.
“Rep. Paul Ryan abandoned the district he was to represent as special interests dictated his legislative priorities. Without ever having a real job outside of politics, it seems he disconnected himself from the people, thus easily disrespected the will of the people. It’s time for a change,” she wrote, throwing her support behind businessman Paul Nehlen instead of House Speaker Ryan.
Palin told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday she thinks Ryan will be “Cantored”, in a reference to Eric Cantor, the former House Majority leader who was ousted from that position in a shocking upset in 2014.
In a surprising dissent from nearly a century of Speakers’ supporting presumptive presidential nominees, Ryan stopped short of backing Trump last week, which set off a bit of a feud between the two men. Inaction to unite the Republican party by Trump is what Ryan cited as the reason for his reluctance.
Palin endorsed Trump at a campaign rally in Iowa in January, which explains her taking umbrage at Ryan’s refusal to do the same.
For now, at least, Ryan remains at an impasse in supporting a man with whom he has significant ideological disagreements. As of Monday morning, however, tensions appeared to thaw a bit when Trump distanced himself from Palin’s decision to endorse Ryan’s primary challenger. For his part, Ryan deferred to Trump’s claim that he could unseat him as chairman of the Republican National Convention, telling a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist he would do what he was asked.
A closed door meeting between Trump, Ryan, and other GOP leaders is set for Thursday in Washington. Whether that leads to an endorsement from Ryan remains to be seen, though it would be a positive development for a party being split apart by internecine, seemingly daily conflicts.