Paul Ryan contemplates a President Clinton, President Trump

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Frank Schultz
Thursday, October 20, 2016

The speaker of the House of Representatives has been thinking about who he might have to deal with at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue next year.

Rep. Paul Ryan said a President Hillary Clinton would have to compromise with a Republican Congress.

Ryan said he hopes a President Donald Trump would come around to Ryan's way of thinking on major issues.

The Gazette recently sent the Ryan re-election campaign a questionnaire. One of the questions was about what's next for the country with Trump as president.

The same question was asked about Clinton.

Ryan's response seems to downplay the amount of political capital Clinton would have if she wins.

Ryan also implies Republicans would have to compromise, as well.

“She is going to have work cooperatively with a Republican Congress. The only mandate will be to work together,” Ryan replied in an email.

“The world is becoming increasingly dangerous--with threats looming both at home and abroad--and our economy is still stuck in standstill,” Ryan wrote. “We need to fix our broken tax code, reform our criminal justice system, rebuild our military and national defense and also tackle the nearly $20 trillion national debt. This is going to require leadership and bipartisan solutions.”

Ryan took a different tone about a President Trump, suggesting Ryan is not certain that he and Trump will agree on major issues.

Those issues no doubt are Ryan's “A Better Way” agenda, which he has been developing for months on topics that include the tax code, poverty and health care.

“I am hopeful he will work with House Republicans on our policy agenda to solve the problems facing our nation,” Ryan wrote of Trump. “We have put forward ideas to help the next president develop and implement a strategy to defeat ISIS and confront the threats we face. We need to restore the balance of powers and rein in an out-of-control executive branch.

“We need to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered solutions, and I hope Donald Trump will follow through on that,” Ryan continued, ending with:

“I'm hopeful that Donald Trump, if he wins in November, will commit to pro-growth policies that reduce the regulatory burdens and expand economic opportunities for all Americans.”

Ryan's responses assume that at least the House of Representatives will remain in Republican hands.

Many observers say the Democrats have a good chance of wresting a majority in the Senate from the Republicans.

Another unknown is whether House members would re-elect Ryan as speaker next year.

And of course, the voters have yet to decide whether Ryan will win re-election as the representative from the 1st Congressional District.


The other three candidates for the 1st Congressional District seat were asked the same questions.

Q: What's next for the country if Hillary Clinton is elected president?

Libertarian Jason Lebeck: “We will see growth in government intervention both domestically and abroad. We will see an increase in redistribution of income and an attempt to restrict gun rights of law-abiding citizens. We will continue to see an increase in military conflicts around the world.”

Democrat Ryan Solen: “With Secretary Clinton's experience in politics and world affairs, I am confident she will continue to steer our country in the right direction. Like myself, Hillary Clinton is committed to education, job creation by improving infrastructure and protecting Social Security.”

Trump Conservative Spencer Zimmerman: “Another Clinton presidency would be a disaster. We are nearing bankruptcy and at a $20 trillion dollar point of no return. She would continue (President Barack) Obama policies that have accumulated more debt than all other administrations combined. As secretary of state Clinton was ineffective in dealing with all of our adversaries. …

“With Hillary as president, the American people might experience something out of the movie 'Red Dawn.'”

Q: Same question for Donald Trump.

Lebeck: “We will see growth in government intervention both domestically and abroad. We will see our tax money used to violate due process by implementing 'stop and frisk' and building a fence along the US/Mexico border. We will continue to see an increase in military conflicts around the world.”

Solen: “Donald Trump and I do not see eye to eye on many issues, but we both support a $15 minimum wage and commitments to veterans and improving America's approach to cyber security. Checks and balances by what I expect will be a Democratic Senate will ensure any Supreme Court appointments are well-qualified.”

Zimmerman: “Donald Trump will work to make America great again. … Like Trump, I want to bring jobs back to America. … renegotiate or leave NAFTA, stop TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal) , and end the outsourcing of jobs to China and Mexico. …

“We need to build a wall along our Mexican border and end illegal immigration.”

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