Days after announcing his repeat challenge to House Speaker Paul Ryan in the upcoming Republican primary, Paul Nehlen told WND he is running again because he believes Ryan is failing President Trump as well as the voters of Ryan’s own district.
“Paul Ryan is actively thwarting the president,” Nehlen told WND. “Ryan could have had a vote on full repeal of Obamacare, but he chose to bring a cadaver and see if Trump could breathe life into it. We are funding everything that was funded under Obama with the 2015 omnibus spending bill and the latest omnibus spending bill.”
Like many conservatives, Nehlen expressed frustration that the “unified Republican government” Speaker Ryan bragged about in November hasn’t seemed to accomplish anything.
Indeed, Nehlen said the Republican Congress has often been counter-productive. And the populist challenger, who recently published the story of his previous underdog campaign in the new book “Wage The Battle,” placed the blame for the Republican Congress’s perceived failure squarely on the speaker of the House.
“Ryan worked with Barack Obama to push job-killing bad trade deals President Trump has been fighting, and Ryan’s still trying to pass them,” Nehlen said. “We also have the nightmare of the health-care bill. Speaker Ryan failed to deliver a workable Obamacare repeal, and the Freedom Caucus had to intervene and save the day. Finally, Speaker Ryan refuses to fund the border wall.”
Nehlen also blasted Ryan for continuously funding left-wing priorities, even while the speaker is apparently unwilling to fund immigration enforcement and the border wall that defined the president’s entire candidacy.
“Think about this – Speaker Ryan’s budgets have funded the following: sanctuary cities, dangerous refugee resettlement, illegal alien orientation and resettlement, the release of criminal illegal aliens from prison and payments used to pay the families of Palestinian terrorists,” Nehlan told WND.
“We need someone in there who will stop giving a blank check to the left’s priorities.”
In his comments to WND, Nehlen largely defended President Trump and his record, though he admitted he is unhappy with some of the personnel decisions made by the commander-in-chief.
“I’d give President Trump a solid B if I were assigning a familiar letter grade,” Nehlen opined. “We’ve made good strides given the scope of deceit we’ve seen from the radicalized left and the slow-motion coup we’re seeing unfold from the neocons in Congress. I’m not a fan of Gary Cohn or Reince Priebus, and would give (Director of the National Trade Council) Peter Navarro and (White House Chief Strategist) Steve Bannon much more responsibility if I were asked. I’d have also hired Kris Kobach to shut down the border. It is very disturbing that the hiring process has been as weak as it has been in placing solid, trustworthy Trump supporters in the executive branch.”
Ryan has been aggressively fundraising not just for his own race but to defend the Republican House majority in 2018. As speaker of the House, Ryan enjoys not only the advantages of incumbency, but a privileged political position that allows him to leverage commitments from other Republican elected officials.
Yet despite Ryan’s advantages, Nehlen remains optimistic about his chances in 2018. Indeed, he regards his first campaign as successful in achieving his real purpose – getting the United States to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. However, this time, Nehlen is aiming at an outright victory and taking his place in Congress.
“I had only four months the last time I ran for the seat and was laser focused on defeating Ryan’s Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Nehlen told WND. “We were successful and President Trump signed us out of that deal his first Monday in office. But now I’ll have 14 months to really connect with residents, discuss my 30-year international business career and highlight my conservative positions. There simply wasn’t enough time last go-round.
“I’m fully confident we can win this race. Wisconsin knows Paul Ryan and he is a familiar old shoe. However, there is nobody who will work harder in Congress for defending our culture, our traditions, our holidays and our heroes. I know how to create jobs and trade.”
When asked what he will campaign on, Nehlen had a simple answer. He will champion the same issues that propelled Trump to the Oval Office.
“Here’s what I want to talk about,” Nehlen said. “We need to build a wall to control immigration. We need to stop the dangerous refugee resettlement racket. And we need a full repeal of Obamacare. I think a lot of Republicans thought we would already have those things if we had a majority in both houses and the White House. Yet here we are.”
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