You know it’s a peculiar election year when Mitt Romney and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) can agree that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is a “fraud.” But that label shouldn’t be reserved for Donald Trump alone. It’s also an apt description of the man Trump supplanted as the de facto leader of the party—Romney’s running mate in 2012, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis).
Indeed, years before Trump sold Republican primary voters on the myth of his own great success, Ryan sold a credulous Washington establishment on the notion that he was a serious thinker overflowing with political courage—a policy wonk uniquely willing to tackle tough issues such as entitlement reform. In the past month, however, it has become more obvious than ever that Ryan’s reputation is worth about as much as a degree from Trump University. Let’s review.
After a fleeting flirtation with principle, Ryan kicked off June by endorsing Trump for president. Despite his previous indication that Trump would have to change course to earn his support, Ryan’s endorsement came without any public concessions or reassurances from Trump. It also came after the Post reported in late 2013 that Ryan was embarking on a personal crusade to steer Republicans “away from the angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party” and toward a “more inclusive vision.”
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.