GOP rep calls Paul Ryan ‘piece of garbage’ over Trump remarks

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) called former Speaker Paul Ryan (R) a “piece of garbage” after Ryan called former President Trump “unfit for office” and vowed not to vote for him in November, in an interview earlier Tuesday.

“Paul Ryan, you’re a piece of garbage. You’re a piece of garbage. And we should kick you out of the party. For Paul Ryan to say he’s not voting for Donald Trump — that’s the problem with some of our Republicans. It’s guys like that,” Nehls told CNN’s Manu Raju in an interview that aired early Wednesday.

“Don’t go spouting your mouth off and saying you’re a conservative,” Nehls added. “You’re spitting in the face of the leader of our party, Donald Trump. I mean, grow up a little bit.”

Nehls, a loyal Trump supporter, was responding to remarks Ryan made on Fox News’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Tuesday, when Ryan explained his decision not to vote for Trump in 2024.

“I voted for him in 2016, hoping that there was going to be a different kind of person in office, and I do think character is a really important issue. If you put yourself above the constitution, as he has done, that means you’re unfit for office,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol is “part of” his decision not to support Trump but said a lot of other factors contributed to the decision.

“I think it really just is character at the end of the day,” he added. “And the fact that if you’re willing to put yourself above the Constitution — an oath you swear when you take office, federal office, whether it’s president or a member of Congress — you swear an oath to the Constitution and if you’re willing to suborn it to yourself, I think that makes you unfit for office.”

Ryan has frequently criticized the former president and said last month he would not support his reelection bid. On Tuesday, Ryan said he would vote for neither Trump nor President Biden.

Asked to respond to a social media post last month, when Trump labeled Ryan as a RINO, a term meaning Republican in name only, Ryan pushed back on the post. He said RINO now refers to someone who does not pledge loyalty to Trump.

“Fealty to Trump is what RINO is, meaning that if you don’t pledge fealty to this man, then you are a RINO. It used to mean a liberal Republican versus a conservative,” Ryan said.

“I’m a conservative Republican. He’s a populist. He’s not a conservative. I want to see someone who’s — who has fidelity to principles. I would prefer a party that is based on principles, not personality or populism,” he added.

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