LOS ANGELES (AP) – Since the chaotic end of Donald Trump’s presidency, the debate over the future of the Republican Party has often boiled down to a simple marker: do you support Trump and his America First agenda, or not?
Former US House Speaker Paul Ryan believes his divided party – and its history – will move forward.
The debate over loyalty to Trump “is going to fade,” the 2012 Republican running mate said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think the circumstances, the ideas and the new candidates will … overshadow this whole conversation.”
Taking into account what it means to be a Republican and how the party can rebuild itself is the inevitable result of the 2020 losses that left the White House and Congress under Democratic control.
Assessing the way forward is “a normal growing pain for a party emerging from a presidential defeat,” Ryan said. “I think it is wrong to suggest that this holiday is divided around one person.”
His take on the GOP will be presented next month as part of a speaker series at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which is reopening after more than a year of closure due to a pandemic. In question: what is the future of the Republican Party?
Those hiding behind the lectern will include a list of potential 2024 presidential candidates, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former UN Ambassador and Governor of Caroline South Nikki Haley, among others.
“We thought the time had come” to discuss the identity of the GOP and the principles of the party, said Roger Zakheim, Washington director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.
“We find ourselves at a time when the Republican Party is not in power,” Zakheim added. “Where does the Republican Party succeed, where does it fail? What philosophies can we all agree on? “
The foundation said in a statement that the forum will provide a platform “for the purpose of reinventing the Republican Party as a true, modern conservative party with ideas deserving the support of the American people.”
The scene of the event will carry symbolic weight: Former Republican President and his wife Nancy Reagan are buried in the hilltop library in the town of Simi Valley, which celebrates its conservative and all things Reagan legacy.
“A lot of right-wingers have fallen into the trap of identity politics. It’s a divisive factor, so it’s immoral at first, but it just doesn’t work in the long run, ”Ryan said.
“If you are building a lasting political movement … it must seek to include everyone, with better principles, better ideas and better solutions,” said Ryan, who sits on the library’s board and designates Reagan as a political actor.
Ryan will deliver the keynote address on May 27 for the library’s “Time for Choosing” forum, named after Reagan’s 1964 speech in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign. Other speakers will follow at future dates.
Inevitably, Trump will be in the background. The former president has teased that he may attempt a comeback in 2024, and the party is widely divided between his followers who continue to promote his baseless allegations of electoral fraud and those who believe he has damaged the party and ousted them. voters, especially in suburban battlefields where congressional control is often decided.
The former speaker pointed out that Republicans won House seats in 2020, even as Trump hesitated. Ryan, who left Congress in January 2019 and is now a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, had a strained and adversarial relationship with Trump. The former president, in turn, criticized Ryan while he was leading the House.
Ryan looked dubious when asked if he could be a candidate for 2024. “I’m really happy where I am,” he said.
“The Biden administration has moved to the far left and that, I think, will help us win back Congress,” Ryan said, noting that the party that holds the White House generally loses seats in Congress during the elections. midterm elections.
“It will take a few years for us to know who we are, what do we believe?” Ryan said. “My … hope is that we are rallying around a set of principles, ideas and policies, not one specific person.”