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Paul Ryan caught raising campaign cash in Florida, ignoring shooting

Paul Ryan tried to sneak around Florida to raise money for Republicans instead of addressing the school shooting. He was caught in the act by a 5th grade teacher.

By Oliver Willis - February 17, 2018
House Speaker Paul Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan snuck into Florida for a Republican party fundraiser but ignored the recent mass shooting at a Parkland high school and its aftermath.

He was caught in the act by a schoolteacher, who confronted him face-to-face about his dereliction of duty.

Ryan went to Key Biscayne for the National Republican Congressional Committee’s winter meeting. His attendance came after he reportedly complained that Republicans are lagging behind Democrats in their fundraising for the fall elections.

Maria Thorne, a fifth-grade teacher, caught wind of the event after she had spent the day reassuring her kids that she could keep them safe from a shooter.

Thorne made her way into the event and found Ryan, telling the Miami Herald, “I shook his hand and everything.”

She then told him she was a teacher and a resident of the area, to which he responded, “Nice.”

That set Thorne off. “Nice? You’re here celebrating the death of 17 children,” she admonished.

Ryan weakly replied that he “didn’t want to talk politics” — an odd statement to make at a political fundraiser.

Thorne persisted in her critique, and was escorted out of the event as she chanted “no more guns!”

Her concerns echo those of the anguished students, teachers, and parents still contending with the mass murder that occurred.

Ryan, in his role as Speaker of the House, has done the NRA’s bidding by refusing to bring legislation on gun violence to a vote. He also emulated the extremist organization’s language when he said “this is not the time” to discuss remedies, right after a shooting. It is a delay and deny strategy the NRA has embraced for years.

And his Democratic opponent, Randy Bryce, called him out: “Paul Ryan went to Florida last night, but he didn’t go to support a grieving community. He went to raise money for his political organization.”

Indeed, Ryan was more than happy to go to Florida to collect money to preserve the majority and his political power, but seemed fine with ignoring the horror through which teachers and students lived through just days earlier.

Ryan is two heartbeats from the presidency. He ought to act like it.

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