JANESVILLE, Wisc. — House Speaker Paul Ryan affirmed he believes he’ll be able to work with President-elect Donald Trump, saying he believes the party can unify around common goals during his post-election press conference Wednesday.
Ryan and Trump had a turbulent relationship throughout the 2016 election cycle, with the billionaire repeatedly accusing the speaker of not being supportive enough of his campaign. Ryan said he would not campaign or defend the nominee following the leak of a 2005 video showing the candidate making lewd remarks about women in early October. He later advocated for the nominee across the Badger State and said he was willing to appear at a rally with Trump in the days leading up to the election.
Despite their past differences, the speaker seemed confident in their ability to bridge the party’s disconnect.
“I think our relationship is fine. I’ve spoken with Donald Trump twice in the past 18 hours, we spoke last night, we spoke again this morning. I spoke to my good friend Mike Pence twice as well,” he said. “I think we will hit the ground running — we are talking about getting our transition working together. I think that Donald trump pulled off is an enormous political feat.”
Ryan confirmed he definitely plans to run for speaker again, despite a handful of House members calling for leadership elections to be pushed back.
“We had great conversations about how we will work together to make on the transition to make this work together, we are getting our schedules lined up to flesh out how we build our transition and go forward,” Ryan said.
The speaker spent the past year touting the House GOP’s “A Better Way” agenda, a blueprint he will likely be able to implement with a Republican in the White House. Trump announced he plans to repeal and replace Obamacare as soon as he takes office — a goal GOP members of Congress have been working toward since the implementation of President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare legislation. The real estate mogul’s tax proposal also aligns with the speaker’s plan.
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