Former House Speaker Paul Ryan Emerges To Bash 'Entertainer' Politicians
Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan emerged from self-imposed political exile to slam "entertainer" lawmakers.
The former Wisconsin lawmaker didn't name names, but insisted they were from "both parties."
"In the 'old days,' like ten years ago, if you wanted to do really well in Congress, if you wanted to be successful, you went into a meritocracy. The measure of success was politics and persuasion," Ryan said Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."
"You convince your colleagues, your country, your voters: 'This is the right way, here is the solution,'" he told host Rebecca Quick.
"It doesn't really motivate people anymore. There are many entertainers in Congress in both parties," he added.
Ryan said it took 10 to 20 years under the "old meritocracy" to build a reputation as a "good politician". Now, he scoffed, you can "just skip the whole process, be a really good entertainer, have an incredible presence, digital, and forget about policy making and curate a brand for yourself."
But building an "entertainment brand" is bad for bipartisanship, Ryan warned.
"When you're entertaining, when you're trying to show that you're better than everyone else in your own ecosystem," it makes it harder to compromise and forge guidelines, he noted. It "separates us," Ryan added.
Ryan, who served as spokesman from 2015 to 2019, retired from the political crowd after 20 years in office and chose not to run for re-election in 2018 after awkward confrontations with then-President Donald Trump.
A reluctant Ryan eventually endorsed Trump when he ran for president. But he withdrew his endorsement a month before the 2016 election after the Access Hollywood tape surfaced in which Trump boasted that he likes to "grab women by the pussy." Trump has predictably called Ryan disloyal and accused him of willfully undermining his campaign.
Ryan said in an interview last year that it was "really clear" that Trump lost the election and that the election was not rigged in any way.
The former lawmaker told Quick he had been friends with President Joe Biden "for years" but complained that Biden had "given the keys to the left."
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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