Paul Ryan blames ‘Trump hangover’ for underwhelming GOP midterm results

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FILE – In this March 20,2018, file photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., pauses as he speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Ryan’s political future as House speaker has been such a topic of speculation that even the simple question of whether he will seek re-election to his Wisconsin seat remains secret. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Paul Ryan blames ‘Trump hangover’ for underwhelming GOP midterm results

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Former House Speaker Paul Ryan called former President Donald Trump a “drag on the ticket” and said Republicans should have “done better” in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Speaking with local station WISN 12 News in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan said the GOP has to do a lot of “soul searching” and suggested it’s time for the party to move on from Trump.

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“I think Trump’s kind of a drag on our ticket,” Ryan said. “I think Donald Trump gives us problems, politically. We lost the House, the Senate, and the White House in two years when Trump was on the ballot, or in office.”

“I just think we have some Trump hangover,” he said.

In several critical races, Trump-endorsed candidates lost or were faring poorly. The biggest blow of the evening was in Pennsylvania, where Democrat John Fetterman defeated Trump-endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz in the country’s most expensive Senate race, costing the GOP a seat in the upper chamber. Don Bolduc failed to unseat Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire. In Arizona, Kari Lake and Blake Masters, who campaigned together as an “America First” ticket, both were down in their races for governor and Senate. Herschel Walker is headed to a runoff against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia.

The former House speaker and vice presidential candidate pointed out that Tuesday’s results were not all negative for Republicans, mentioning Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s dominant reelection victory.

“Ron got reelected, I’m very happy to see that. It was a mixed blessing night, but we should have done better than we did.”

Ryan emphasized that in order for Republicans to win, the party must nominate a new candidate in 2024.

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“We want to win the White House, and we know with Trump, we’re so much more likely to lose. Just look at the difference between votes, between Trump candidates and non-Trump-aligned candidates.”

“It’s really clear to me and the evidence is pretty stark that if we have a nominee not named Trump, we’re so much more likely to win the White House than if our candidate’s named Trump,” he added.

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