House Speaker Paul Ryan said he has accomplished a “heckuva lot” as he announced Wednesday that he will not run for reelection.
There are moments, though, that he probably would like to forget. Here are some lowlights from Ryan’s career in Washington.
Despite calling out candidate Donald Trump’s comments as being “the textbook definition of a racist,” Ryan endorsed him during the presidential race.
“I do absolutely disavow his comments. I think they’re wrong,” Ryan said in June 2016. “But do I believe Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not.”
Speaker Paul Ryan announces retirement from House at end of 2018
Trump had said that Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel could not fairly preside over a lawsuit against Trump University because of his ethnicity.
Ryan was ridiculed on social media in February after tweeting about a woman’s tiny raise as an achievement for the GOP tax cut. He would later delete the post. High school secretary Julia Ketchum said she was shocked to learn that Ryan highlighted her.
“I’m really surprised actually because the paragraph above me, and the paragraph below my quote those folks got hundreds more hundreds,” she told CBS News. “And I got a $1.50 per paycheck more. So it shows me he may not have read the whole article.”
Ryan has received the highest possible rating, an A-plus, from the National Rifle Association. He stayed silent during last month’s March for Our Lives rally to end gun violence, and bipartisan efforts to bolster gun laws have failed despite polls showing that 90% of Americans want universal background checks for all gun purchases.
Government of, by and for Trump
The retiring Speaker called Democratic lawmakers’ 2016 sit-in for gun control, led by Civil Rights icon John Lewis, a “publicity stunt.”
Ryan made an apparent Freudian slip while introducing President Trump before his first State of the Union earlier this year: “I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of preventing, uh, presenting to you the President of the United States.”
Ryan was Mitt Romney’s running mate during the 2012 election, when they were soundly beaten by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.