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Speaker Paul Ryan on What You Get With a Unified Republican Government in 2017

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HH: I am joined now by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan. Speaker Ryan, I’m sorry to introduce you with such a terrible story, but it’s all too common in America in 2016 that police officers have become the target of murderous rage.

PR: Good morning, Hugh. It’s just horrible. We all woke up, turned on the TV this morning and saw this, just this absolutely, awful ambush in Des Moines. And it’s just terrible. Everybody needs to just say a prayer and then go thank a cop. If you see a police officer wherever you are in your day in this country, just give them some reassurance, because you’ve got to know that every police officer is thinking about this. And they need to know that they’re in our hearts and our prayers.

HH: You know, Speaker, I traveled the country campaigning for Donald Trump with Jon Voight and David Clarke, the Milwaukee County Sheriff, and David Clarke would always remind people that when bad things happen, cops rush in.

PR: That’s right.

HH: When Orlando happened, the cops rushed into Orlando. When the bombings happened in New York, they rushed to the scene of the bombings. And yet, there are these diseased minds in this country. What has happened? This is unlike, you probably weren’t even alive in ’68. You can’t even remember ’68. But this is like a reverse time machine.

PR: You know, I wasn’t, I wasn’t alive in ’68, and I do remember hearing from older folks like yourself, Hugh…

HH: Oh, that was a hit. Listen, you’re piling on after the Tribe loss last night, Mr. Speaker.

PR: I didn’t think that got to you. Sorry, I am a Cubs fan.

HH: (laughing)

PR: You know, society has got to heal itself. And those of us who care, which is the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of Americans, need to do something about this, and that is express our support for law enforcement overtly, clearly, so that we can try and get our communities to stop this. You know, there’s nothing like peer pressure, and we’ve got to make sure that people have to respect what law enforcement does. These people hug their kids, they kiss their spouse, and then they go out and they preserve and protect us. And for someone to ambush that entire thought process, for someone to go after these men and women who are out there protecting us, it’s unconscionable. And to see this pattern that’s developing, that’s what’s unconscionable. If it’s a random mentally ill person, that’s one thing. But if it’s people consciously going out and doing this, they’re doing it to society. They’re doing it to our culture. They’re doing it to what the whole notion of keeping the peace, and that is why I think we have a lot of work to do in our communities to heal.

HH: You know, Mr. Speaker, I don’t know if you’ve even seen the Project Veritas videotapes. I have not independently confirmed if they are accurate. I know that the Clinton affiliated official has resigned. But they’re on tape as orchestrating violence at Trump rallies. I just am appalled by that. And then I get asked all the time on TV, is there going to be violence after the election? I don’t think there’s going to be any violence anywhere. But to see Democratic operatives orchestrating violence, I just wonder how corrosive has politics become in this country? You used to have your mentor, Jack Kemp, out there talking about big ideas and big debates with left wing Democrats about, you know, Sweden-style socialism. But it was about how to move forward, not how to orchestrate violence.

PR: Well, I think what you’re seeing is Rules For Radicals being deployed again to justify the means. The ends justify the means. And you’re seeing this Alinskite-style politics being practiced with 21st Century technology to devastating effect. And it’s ripping our politics apart.

HH: Mr. Speaker, let’s go to policy. I know you voted for Donald Trump this week. He promised yesterday with Mike Pence at his side, your friend, Mike Pence, that he’ll hold a special session to repeal Obamacare and replace it. Premiums in North Carolina, there’s one plan now for 85% of individual participants. That plan went up 24% after a 30% hike the previous year. The Benchmark plan in Phoenix went up 145%. Pat Toomey was just on. The average increase in Pennsylvania is 50%. This is a massive fail that is hitting people right in their checkbook in the way they provide for their families. What are you going to do about it if the House majority is returned, a Senate majority comes in, and Donald Trump holds that special session? What do we replace it with?

PR: We are ready. We are ready to do it. Go to We have a six point plan that we’re running on, which is showing what we can accomplish in 2017 with a unified Republican government. And the point I was trying to make yesterday, because I early voted for our nominee, for Donald. I early voted for my Senator, Ron Johnson, and obviously for Congress so that we can keep a unified Republican government. A unified Republican government, and really only a unified Republican government can get you a replacement for Obamacare, which is, as you say, absolutely failing. The actuaries call it a death spiral. So you go to, and you’ll see our full-scale replacement plan for Obamacare – patient-centered health care with more choices, with more competition, lower prices. You get to buy what you want. You get to buy what your family needs. And we make competition, free market competition, is what will keep providers accountable and bring competition into the system instead of this government monopoly bureaucracy, which is giving us these massive, staggering price increases. Kaiser tells us that about, almost a third of the counties in America have only one choice. That’s really not a choice.

HH: Wow.

PR: That’s a monopoly. And you predictably have these massive price increases. The law is absolutely failing. They literally call it a death spiral, the actuaries do, and that’s what is occurring. Here’s what we proved this year in Congress already. People don’t seem to remember this, but we, House Republicans, Senate Republicans, we put a bill on President Obama’s desk. We used a tool called reconciliation which they could not filibuster, and we put a repeal bill of Obamacare on President Obama’s desk, along with repealing our funding for Planned Parenthood. We put that on President Obama’s desk. Now clearly, he vetoed it. But what we demonstrated that with just the simple majorities we have in the House and the Senate, we can put these things on his desk. Imagine if we had a Republican president. This is what Donald Trump is talking about. A special session, we’ve already proven this year with a Republican House and a Republican Senate we can have that special session, and we can repeal, and we can replace Obamacare. This is not just a vague promise. This is clearly an action plan that we have. And if you want to take a look at what it looks like, go to and see for yourself.

HH: Now Speaker, I’ve got to ask you about the alternative. If Hillary Clinton wins, boy, we need Republican majorities. But I also, you probably don’t remember impeachment very well. You were talking about it the other day.

PR: Yeah, I was a freshman Congressman then.

HH: Oh, you were? Okay.

PR: Yeah.

HH: So it’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for the country. She’s under two FBI investigations. Buried in that Wall Street Journal story by Devlin Barrett was the fact that Deputy Director McCabe had to face down the Department of Justice who wanted to shut down the Clinton Foundation investigation…

PR: That’s right.

HH: …in addition to the server email investigation. We are looking at a nightmare with her in the Oval Office.

PR: So just think about this. And this is what I keep telling young people who didn’t experience the 1990s like you and I did. This is what life is like with the Clintons. There’s always a scandal. And then there’s always an investigation. You never know what’s going to happen next. They live above the rules, outside the rules. And they work the system to help Clinton Incorporated, not to help the rest of us. This is what they do. This is not a one-off event. This is a consistent pattern of behavior over a lifetime of the Clintons in office. So why on Earth would we want to go through that again? Why would we want to repeat that? And as you said, she’s under an investigation right now. Do we really want to, knowing this, have a person come into the White House automatically under suspicion, under investigation? And by the way, if you want to go back to the substance of it, what she is saying is not to replace Obamacare with patient-centered health care like we were offering. She’s saying I want a public option. I just want to double down on government-run health care. What we’re experiencing is government-run health care. She wants more of the same, which is obviously something that we would never do in a Republican Congress. But we would be stuck in neutral with divided government. We’d have a president wanting socialized medicine, and a Congress refusing, and the American people standing in the middle. And so that is why we have to have a unified Republican government. And I keep telling people the media likes to play up our differences far more than they are. Look at It’s an agenda. Our nominee, Donald, is extremely familiar with it. We are all on the same page on these things. It’s an agenda to secure the border, rebuild our military, move people from welfare to work. It’s an agenda to scrap the tax code and start over with a simple tax system, so simple that families can fill their taxes out on a postcard. It’s going to create, we think, as much as 1.7 million new jobs, add about 9% of growth to the economy. It’s an agenda to restore the Constitution. All these rules and regulations written by unelected bureaucrats would have to go through Congress for final vote and approval or an amendment before they go into effect. That’s how you restore the separation of power. That’s how you restore an accountable government. That’s how you restore self-government in this country. This is an agenda that we are all unified around, which is what we’re trying to offer the country, but can only really be delivered if we have a unified Republican government. I’m going to spend the next, the last four days of this campaign with my Senator, Ron Johnson, crisscrossing Wisconsin, explaining to my fellow citizens in my state, a battleground state. Unified Republican government can get you all of these things. So Republicans need to come home. Republicans need to vote. Turnout is the key, and that is why we’re out there. I’m out in…

HH: Last question, Mr. Speaker…

PR: Yeah.

HH: …because last four days, people are asking me this. If Director Comey, he can’t exonerate Secretary Clinton because of the classification nature of the emails. It takes too long.

PR: Right.

HH: It’s just a practical impossibility. But he might find a smoking gun. If he does, do you think he has an obligation to tell the American people about it?

PR: Yeah, look, I understand why he did what he did, because imagine if he didn’t, and we found out after the fact that he was sitting on this before the election. So I clearly understand why he did what he did. Hillary Clinton has no one to blame but herself, and she and Republicans are saying if you’ve got something you’ve got cleared, put it out there. So yeah, I think if he’s gone through the process that he needs to go through to vet evidence, and he’s got it, he should do it. I do agree with that. More disclosure is better, clearly.

HH: Speaker Paul Ryan,, thank you for joining me, Mr. Speaker. Good luck in your unceasing efforts to return what we absolutely need, a House Republican majority, the Senate Republican majority, and Donald Trump in the White House.

End of interview.


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