Iowa Rep. Steve King rebuked House Speaker Paul Ryan during a Tuesday interview on “The Laura Ingraham Show” for saying Monday that he would no longer defend Donald Trump and would no longer campaign for the GOP nominee.
Though he fell short of officially pulling his endorsement, Ryan flatly confirmed he would no longer stand up for his party’s nominee on a conference call held with fellow Republican Congress members Monday. Instead, Ryan said he intends to focus his efforts on maintaining a Republican majority in Congress.
“We do not know that we’ve lost, and we must not believe that we have, and the best thing we can do is lift Trump up.”
King, who was on the conference call for roughly 40 minutes, told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham that he was not pleased with Ryan’s decision. He said that as soon as the call opened up for other comments, there was “an immediate pushback on the statement that the speaker had made.”
“And, without naming names, I’ll give you generally the theme: ‘We need to stay with Trump. It hurts us all if we don’t do that. If we let him sink, we all sink with him,'” King told Ingraham. “I didn’t hear anybody defend that position — Paul Ryan’s position — although, you know, it was a short sample … And so that’s the sense of it.”
King spoke of one member — whom he declined to name — who held a particularly apt opinion that “hit home.”
“He said, ‘If you are so worried about a sexual deviant in the White House, helping Hillary Clinton will put Bill Clinton in the White House,'” King paraphrased.
Ingraham noted Democrats have a record of staying loyal to their scandal-plagued politicians, especially the former president.
“Do the Democrats ever take that attitude? If Hillary were behind 10 points, do you think the Democrats would be abandoning Hillary and saying, ‘You know, we’re just going to focus on ourselves and abandon Hillary’? Do they ever do that?” Ingraham asked.
King responded, saying, “I’d say never, Laura, and if there’s ever an example to show that — I wasn’t in Congress yet during the impeachment of Bill Clinton, but I sat in that Judiciary Committee room for three days and I saw them lift him up and prop him up and finally fight their way through to where public opinion — it was so revolted by Bill Clinton — finally became exhausted at the effort of the Democrats to defend him, and essentially allowed him to stay in office.”
Ingraham reiterated that the Democrats are “never breaking ranks.”
“They stuck with him and they stuck with Hillary … through all of the other disasters. And meanwhile, Paul Ryan thinks that he’s going to be able to keep his majority in the House and the Senate by saying, ‘Go your own way. Vote your conscience.’ I think the voters have had just about enough, Steve,” Ingraham said. “The Congress is only focused on the Congress. They’re not focused on national leadership.”
The Iowan congressman criticized his fellow Republicans — particularly those affiliated with the “Establishment wing of the party” — for going “out so far on this limb.”
“The thing that’s destructive to this country is open borders, and if you get a Hillary Clinton for president, I don’t think there’s — it’s hard to argue that what happened in that conference call yesterday doesn’t increase the odds that Hillary Clinton will be president of the United States,” King said. “There goes the immigration, the border security, the rule of law, our courts — our whole federal courts — Obamacare gets institutionalized as [a] single-payer [program] in perpetuity, ISIS gets a free pass, our deficit spending continues, we never get to balance, the Constitution itself of course is at risk, [and] the Second Amendment will be eroded.”
“It looks grim, but I would not resign myself that the election is lost,” King concluded. “We do not know that we’ve lost, and we must not believe that we have, and the best thing we can do is lift Trump up.”