Speaker Paul Ryan made it clear that despite his party's devastating losses on Tuesday, Republicans are completely intertwined with Donald Trump and his failing agenda.
Speaking to Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on his radio show, Ryan shook off the GOP losses in Virginia and New Jersey, even as voters made clear their distaste for Trump and Trump-style politics.
“We’re with Trump,” Ryan said without hesitation. “We merged our agendas.”
Ryan made it clear there is no difference between Trump and the rest of the Republican Party and that they share the exact same goals of cutting taxes for the extremely wealthy by raising taxes on the middle class, and stripping health insurance from millions.
KILMEADE: Do you have to make a choice as Republicans, either you’re going to side with President Bush and his policies, 43, of more free trade, and maybe some type of immigration compromise, or do you have to go with Donald Trump? Is it going to be a choice for Republicans, Bush or Trump?
RYAN: We already made that choice. We’re with Trump. We already made that choice. That’s a choice we made in the beginning of the year. That’s a choice we made during the campaign.
Which is: We merged our agendas. We ran on a joint agenda with Donald Trump. We got together with Donald Trump when he was president-elect Trump, and walked through what is it we want to accomplish in the next two years. We all agreed on that agenda. We’re processing that agenda.
Ryan proudly listed a series of Trump-friendly agenda items that have passed in the House, ignoring the baggage that comes with Trump as head of the party.
Ryan highlighted unpopular issues like repealing Obamacare, building the useless and impractical border wall, and weakening regulations on the financial industries that caused the recession as evidence of how well Republicans are working in concert.
Ryan also made clear that the GOP tax bill, which Trump has had his whole team — including daughter Ivanka — pushing on America is the centerpiece of the Trump-Ryan-McConnell alliance.
The interview was a clear line in the sand, signaling that supposed distinctions between Trump and traditional Republicans are regarded by Ryan as meaningless.
Republicans have chosen Trump as their leader and standard-bearer, and while a few have spoken out against him, they are the outliers within the movement. And, as Ryan emphasized, they all agree on the same agenda.
There is no daylight between Donald Trump and other Republicans. That is the position of the speaker of the House, and he said it in plain language that cannot be misinterpreted.
If Trumpism fails, it is a Republican Party failure, through and through.