Paul Ryan utterly failed as speaker of the House. Now he wants Americans to believe he never wanted the job.
After his disastrous tenure as speaker of the House ended in a historic midterm defeat that swept Democrats into power, Paul Ryan whined that he never wanted the job in the first place.
In an interview with the Washington Post as he heads for the exit, Ryan distanced himself from the senior leadership position he held for three years.
"I really didn't want to do the job," Ryan said. "I loved – I always wanted to be the Ways and Means chair. It's why I never ran for the Senate."
"I wanted to be the Ways and Means chair because of the issues I really care about. And I loved where I was. I'm not a hyper-ambitious guy, I really am not, and I just wanted to go to Ways and Means."
Throughout his tenure as Speaker, Ryan has been unable to get his party to work together on much beyond passing a tax scam that handed billions out to the ultra-wealthy. Ryan tried to turn back the tide of public opinion against the scam by touting a $1.50 a week pay increase for a high school secretary.
It didn't work.
He announced his retirement before Democrats won the midterm election, but the writing was already on the wall.
Ryan leaves behind a legacy of failure and mistakes, marked by his inability to get his caucus in line. By contrast, his incoming Democratic replacement, Nancy Pelosi, has excelled at that task during her time in leadership.
Key Republican goals, like repealing Obamacare, were never accomplished under Ryan. He also paid lip service to reducing the deficit, but it grew under his watch.
And time after time Ryan excused Trump's disgustingly bigoted behavior in the presidency, preferring instead to shore up Republican power rather than stand up for the country.
His dissembling even extended beyond his tenure as speaker.
Ryan's claim that he's "not a hyper-ambitious guy" would seem to run contrary to his decision in 2012 to run on the losing presidential ticket with Mitt Romney as his vice presidential running mate.
He failed then and he failed as speaker. Having botched the job, Ryan insists that he never wanted it to begin with.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.