MSNBC: Ryan Not Quitting Over Trump Will Be ‘Stain on His Political Reputation Forever’

Appearing on MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle Thursday morning, faux conservative New York Times Columnist Bret Stephens ranted that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s refusal to resign in protest after Donald Trump’s election in 2016 “is going to be a stain on his political reputation forever.”

Anchor Stephanie Ruhle was leading a panel discussion on Speaker Ryan’s Wednesday announcement that he was retiring from Congress after serving out the remainder of his term. She was focused on trashing his legislative legacy by pointing to the nation’s budget deficit – not something liberals on MSNBC have been concerned with in the past. She then turned to Stephens and asked: “That’s what we’re faced with, with this deficit. Do you think that’s why – really why Paul Ryan’s walking out the door?”

 

 

Stephens dismissed the financial topic, and instead proclaimed: “No, I think Paul Ryan’s walking out the door because the Republican Party has become unmanageable, ungovernable, and embarrassing.” The sanctimonious pundit then added: “And I think that his only mistake was not having done so two years earlier, which is going to be a stain on his political reputation forever.”

Ruhle lamented that Ryan wasn’t using his exit from Capitol Hill to attack the President: “But if that’s why he was leaving, this would be his moment to stand up and say that. This would be his moment to say, ‘I can’t stand with Trump for X, Y and Z.’ Instead, he’s touting tax cuts and he will not be around to have to live through the impact of said cuts.”

After’s Politico’s Chief Economic Correspondent Ben White declared that Ryan’s legacy was going to be “these annual trillion-dollar deficits,” Stephens chimed in again, asserting that Ryan’s willingness to serve as House Speaker during the Trump presidency was immoral:

Look, maybe. I think the real legacy of Paul Ryan, when historians look back on it, won’t be a matter of deficits, it will be the moral capitulation of Republicans who knew better or who should have known better, to the forces of Trumpism within the party. And that started with him in the fall of 2016, when he nearly dis-endorsed the President, and went crawling back and kept crawling back for more. I think this is, at some internal psychological level, the culmination of that. I’m glad he wants to spend more time with his family, have more equal parenting with his wife. But in a sense, there’s something almost Shakespearean about the career trajectory of Paul Ryan. A guy who at some level understood what he was doing, but was unwilling to admit it and stand up and fight it. That was his – that was his flaw.

Ruhle smugly concluded: “Listen, there’s a history of people who stand with Trump, they blow up.”

According to MSNBC, the only legitimate reaction by Republicans in Washington to Trump’s election was for them to immediately resign in disgust.

On Wednesday night, the channel’s most unhinged left-wing bomb thrower Lawrence O’Donnell went on a tirade declaring Ryan to be the worst Speaker of the House in American history – a list of people that includes slave owners and accused pedophile Dennis Hastert.

Here is a transcript of the April 12 segment on Ruhle’s 9:00 a.m. ET hour show:

9:48 AM ET

PAUL RYAN [R-WI, HOUSE SPEAKER]: Probably the two biggest achievements for me, our first, the major reform of our tax code for the first time in 36 years, which has already been a huge success for this country. And that’s something I’ve been working on my entire adult life. And after tax reform, addressing our military readiness crisis, that was a top priority that we got done last month as well.

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Time for Money, Power, Politics. That, of course, was outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan toting what he sees as his biggest accomplishment during his time in office. The Speaker’s announcement that he will not seek re-election comes 48 hours after the CBO confirmed that by next year the federal deficit will be nearly $1 trillion, and will exceed that $1 trillion by 2028. One of the main causes of the soaring deficit, the achievement that [the] House Speaker is so proud of.  Right there in my prompter, it says tax reform. I’m letting the world know it’s not tax reform, it was a tax cut. Those are two different things.

Bret, Ben, you are back with me. I want to start with a tweet my friend Steve Schimdt just put out, “Paul Ryan is responsible for adding trillions to the national debt. It is hard to understand what a trillion is. Maybe this helps. A million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is 30 years. A trillion seconds is 3,000 years [sic].” That’s what we’re faced with, with this deficit. Do you think that’s why – really why Paul Ryan’s walking out the door?

BRET STEPHENS [NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST]: No, I think Paul Ryan’s walking out the door because the Republican Party has become unmanageable, ungovernable, and embarrassing. And I think that his only mistake was not having done so two years earlier, which is going to be a stain on his political reputation forever.

RUHLE: But if that’s why he was leaving, this would be his moment to stand up and say that. This would be his moment to say, “I can’t stand with Trump for X, Y and Z.” Instead, he’s touting tax cuts and he will not be around to have to live through the impact of said cuts.

BEN WHITE [POLITICO CHIEF ECONOMIC CORRESPONDENT]: Yeah, I mean, you make a good point on this being tax cuts, not tax reform. To give Ryan a little bit of credit, he wanted it to be tax reform. He had these ideas at the outset to reduce the deficit and debt impact over ten years. This is the old Republican Party that was concerned about this stuff –

RUHLE: Okay, but Ben, that’s nonsense.

WHITE: It’s not what happened. I’m just saying.  

RUHLE: Who cares what he wanted? I want to be 5'8" and smoking hot, but I’m 5'4" and sitting here with you two.

WHITE: Well, there you go. I’d like to be 20 pounds lighter. Yeah, but his legacy –

RUHLE: Like, he wanted to get tax reform done, great. But he also wanted to president.

WHITE: Sure, sure, sure. But I mean, that is the reality of the Republican Party he’s in now and his legacy is, in fact, these annual trillion-dollar deficits. And we’re talking in 2028 a $30 trillion national debt, that is 100% of our GDP. That is the point where debt markets start to care, you pay higher interest rates, it hurts your economy, it chokes off growth. That is the legacy that he’s going to have to live with.

STEPHENS: Look, maybe. I think the real legacy of Paul Ryan, when historians look back on it, won’t be a matter of deficits, it will be the moral capitulation of Republicans who knew better or who should have known better, to the forces of Trumpism within the party. And that started with him in the fall of 2016, when he nearly dis-endorsed the President, and went crawling back and kept crawling back for more. I think this is, at some internal psychological level, the culmination of that. I’m glad he wants to spend more time with his family, have more equal parenting with his wife. But in a sense, there’s something almost Shakespearean about the career trajectory of Paul Ryan. A guy who at some level understood what he was doing, but was unwilling to admit it and stand up and fight it. That was his – that was his flaw.

RUHLE: Listen, there’s a history of people who stand with Trump, they blow up.

(...)

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