The White House is pleading with Republicans to stay at Trump's side before the midterm elections after House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his intention to retire.
Paul Ryan’s sudden decision to abandon his party as it faces a likely election wipeout rattled the Trump White House. And press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stooped to imploring other Republicans to stay and help push Trump’s agenda.
Ryan’s decision was devastating news for the GOP on Wednesday, and he wasn’t even the only one to do so. Florida Rep. Dennis Ross announced his own retirement right on the heels of Ryan’s statement.
During the daily press briefing, a reporter referred to reports that Trump himself is concerned Ryan’s retirement might persuade even more Republicans to quit.
Sanders’ response was pitiful. “We certainly hope that Republicans will continue to remain in the House, especially those that support the president’s agenda.”
She added that the White House hopes that “a number” of the candidates campaigning for office will be “coming out” to support Trump.
But Trump and his agenda are exactly why the Republican Party is facing electoral headwinds.
Republicans sought to run for re-election by using the tax law to appeal to voters. But having already have lost races in the process, they’ve been forced to abandon that scheme.
Ryan’s retirement is another signal that the tax law isn’t working, as he is closely identified with the ideas it embraces: cutting taxes for the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle class.
Despite Sanders’ plea on Trump’s behalf, the momentum is considerably against him and his party. More and more Republicans are headed for the exits, preferring to take their chances on the outside rather than go down on a sinking ship.