The former House speaker said Trump's personality is an electoral loser in a speech in Florida on Monday.
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan was loathe to criticize Trump when he was serving in Congress.
But now that Ryan is retired, and thus unbound by the confines of political office, he's saying what he thinks about the president he normalized.
In a lecture in Vero Beach, Florida, Ryan said Trump's "personal brand" is an electoral loser, and that if the race is about Trump rather than policies, Trump will lose.
"The person who defines that race is going to win the race," Ryan said, according to TCPalm. "If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it."
Ryan faced criticism in office for not condemning Trump's behavior.
Ryan admitted that he didn't like Trump's tweets, but never really took a stand against Trump's worst comments — often playing dumb and saying he didn't see Trump's offensive tweets in order to avoid having to condemn them.
But his comments in Florida suggest he's known all along that Trump's behavior is bad and unpopular with voters writ large.
Of course, admitting that Trump's personality is off-putting to voters isn't the worst thing Ryan could have said about Trump.
But Ryan clearly feels freer to criticize the president now that his own political fate is not tied to the president.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.