House Speaker Paul Ryan’s upcoming summit in Washington with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is filled with political drama as everyone waits to see if Trump can win the speaker’s support.
But the very fact that Trump is having to attend this meeting Thursday puts Ryan on politically precarious ground. While he is engaging in national political intrigue with the presumptive presidential nominee, he is facing a spirited opposition from a Republican challenger in his own backyard.
There is a good chance Ryan, if he overplays his hand, could lend fuel to the effort to get him “Cantored,” that is to say, booted from office in his own Wisconsin primary on Aug. 9.
Ryan is drawing heat for withholding support for his own party’s nominee against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Some big names have lined up behind his opponent, Paul Nehlen, in recent days. Nehlen announced his candidacy on April 13 and already has roped endorsements from Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin and a key anti-illegal immigration PAC.
Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, used the term “Cantored” to describe the push to replace Ryan. This is a reference to the stunning upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by Rep. Dave Brat in Virginia in 2014.
Palin endorsed Nehlen Sunday, following another endorsement from conservative writer Malkin.
Nehlen could not immediately be reached for comment by WND Monday.
Americans for Less Immigration, or ALIPAC, has also endorsed Nehlen.
On his website, Nehlen lists his top three priorities as follows:
- Reclaim Wisconsin’s 1st District for We The People
- Stop Paul Ryan’s Cronyism & Corruption
- Secure Our Borders & Enforce Existing Immigration Laws
Ryan holds more power than just his position as speaker of the House. He is also chairman of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this year.
Ryan did concede Monday that he would step down as chairman of the convention if Trump asks him to.
William Gheen, president of ALIPAC, said his organization is doing all it can to bring down Ryan, who is one of the group’s top three priorities along with the removal of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and fending off an establishment challenge to tea-party Republican Rep. Walter Jones Jr., R-N.C.
Nehlen is a successful and flamboyant businessman who sports tattoos, rides a motorcycle and drives a dump truck through the district painted with his campaign slogan, “Dump Ryan.” He says Ryan has betrayed Wisconsin and America by agreeing to fully fund President Obama’s immigration plan and Obamacare while championing the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Dismal record on immigration
Ryan’s record on immigration is what has drawn the ire of ALIPAC and others who advocate a decrease in the current record levels of immigrants — legal and illegal — pouring into the U.S. They are coming at a rate of 1.1 million per year, a historic high water mark.
Ryan, after the Paris terrorist attacks in which eight jihadists killed 130 people, declared that the United States cannot turn away the hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants now entering the United States annually on visas.
About 250,000 people enter the U.S. from Muslim-dominated countries every year, with about 120,000 of them getting permanent residency or green cards.
Ryan agreed with President Obama that it is not “appropriate” to consider the religious attitudes or apply a “religious test” of would-be immigrants. This despite the fact that foreign nationals have no rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Ryan also allowed a big increase in the number of H2-B temporary guest-worker visas to be slipped into the $1.1 trillion omnibus budget supported by Obama. The H2-B visa is issued to foreign workers who come to the U.S. to take blue-collar jobs in non-farm seasonal industries.
“I think he can and will beat Paul Ryan if he makes immigration and enforcement of our existing laws his top issue,” Gheen said. “Right now, it’s listed in their top three, but it needs to be number one because it was the number one issue that brought down Eric Cantor in Virginia in 2014.”
Nehlen seems to be taking ALIPAC’s advice. He recently returned from a May 8 trip to the U.S. Mexico border in which he tweeted: “Blowing my mind. Agents need a fighter. I commit. #DumpRyan.”
“Secondly, he needs to be able to channel national support against Paul Ryan, from places of heavy illegal immigration like California, Texas and Florida, because that is what it took to take down Cantor,” Gheen said.
But it will take money, volunteers and donors to knock out Ryan, and ALIPAC is working to achieve all three.
Ryan, meanwhile, continues to talk tough in withholding his support of Trump.
Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now.”
The burden of unifying the party falls on Trump, Ryan added, and Trump must unify “all wings of the Republican Party, and the conservative movement.”
‘Who promoted Private Ryan?’
Political columnist Pat Buchanan on Monday, weighed in with a hard-hitting column titled “Who promoted Private Ryan?” In that column, Buchanan said the House speaker has no grounds to make any demands on Trump and described Ryan as akin to an emperor who has no clothes.
“Trump must run a campaign that we can ‘be proud to support and proud to be a part of,'” Buchanan quoted Ryan as saying.
“Then, maybe, our Hamlet of the House can be persuaded to support the elected nominee of his own party.
“Excuse me, but upon what meat has this our Caesar fed?”
Buchanan, in the same column, provided Trump with some unsolicited advice.
“Paul Ryan, in declaring that he cannot now support Trump, and imposing conditions to earn his support, has crawled out on a long limb. Trump cannot capitulate. He has to saw it off.”
“Someone should instruct Paul Ryan that losers do not make demands. They make requests,” Buchanan wrote. “They make pleas.”
Now that the Trump vs. Cruz battle has been settled, it’s possible that some national attention will start to focus on Ryan’s primary race.
“The GOP presidential primary has dominated people’s attention to the point we have been unable to focus enough national support behind folks like Mr. Nehlen,” Gheen said. “So it’s important that the presidential primary has now been decided and we’re able to focus attention on these other races nationally.”
GOP candidate supports driver’s licenses for illegals?
The GOP primary in North Carolina is June 7 with Jones trying to defend his seat. Another open seat in the newly created 13th congressional district has attracted 16 Republican candidates. State Rep. Harry Warren is seen as the favorite, yet he is the primary sponsor for HB 328, also known as the Highway Safety Act, which would allow the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.
Jones has been a conservative stalwart in the House since the GOP revolution in 1994, but he is in danger of losing his seat on June 7 because the establishment wing of the party has transplanted a Washington lobbyist, Taylor Griffin, into Jones’ district. Griffin is spending large amounts of money in the district.
“He came close to taking out Walter two years ago, and we know Griffin will support the amnesty for illegals that Walter has opposed,” Gheen said. “Walter has stood up to Obama more than most other members of Congress on numerous issues, and that is why he is being targeted by the D.C. powers.”
“The Nehlen race is set for Aug. 9, and then one of the most important races of the year is throwing McCain out of office on Aug. 30. These four campaigns are what we want to make our national focus campaigns.”
ALIPAC is supporting Dr. Kelli Ward over McCain and “anybody but Rep. Harry Warren in North Carolina District 13.”
“They are going to need voters, donors and volunteers. Reading about it, talking about it, are not enough,” Gheen said. “These people need armies of voters, donors and volunteers.”
“Our plan is we want to reach out to the voters in these races calling on volunteers to make calls through ALIPAC,” he continued. “And we’re also hoping to raise enough money to do some direct mail so we can afford to send letters from me to the core Republican households in these races. We’re hoping between those things, ALIPAC can play a strong role in these races as we did in the defeat of Eric Cantor in Virginia in 2014.”
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