Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday said that former President Trump’s “unelectability will be palpable” by the 2024 presidential election and that the next Republican nominee will likely be someone else.
“I think Trump’s unelectability will be palpable by then. We all know that he will lose. … We all know that he is so much more likely to lose the White House than anybody else running for president on our side of the aisle, so why would we want to go with that?” Ryan said in an interview with Teneo for its “Insights Series.”
Ryan is vice chairman of Teneo, a public relations and CEO advisory firm.
“The only reason he stays where he is is because everybody’s afraid of him. They’re afraid of him going after them, hurting their own ambition. But as soon as you get the herd mentality going, it’s unstoppable,” Ryan said.
He noted Trump’s lack of strength in polls that consider him as the hypothetical 2024 Republican candidate and said he’s sure the former president will be aware of that.
“Whether he runs or not, I don’t really know if it matters. He’s not going to be the nominee, I don’t think,” Ryan said.
The former Speaker posited that the Republican presidential primary will be flooded with candidates, dividing up the vote until Trump gets the plurality — though he didn’t think that was the most likely case.
“It’s not like [Trump] is going to reverse the impression that suburban voters have on him. That cake is baked,” Ryan said.
Ryan also underscored the importance of suburban American voters in this year’s midterm elections, noting that Democrats are likely to seize on abortion and Trump as key voting issues, while Republicans will emphasize the U.S. economy.
Democrats, the former Speaker predicted, will work to make the 2022 race about Trump to get their base to the polls, pulling focus from sky-high, persistent inflation.
“[Trump] is the Democrats’ weapon against us. He’s a cudgel against us, especially in our swing districts,” Ryan said.