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Ex-US Reps Speaker says there are Democrats who can defeat Trump in 2020

Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he believes there are some Democrats who could defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Ryan, in one of his first public appearances after retiring from Congress, weighed in on Trump’s chances and reflected on his tenure in Congress during a Monday lecture in Vero Beach, Florida.

“The person who defines that race is going to win the race. If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it,” Ryan said.

Ryan, who served as Speaker of the House from 2015 until January and was the 2012 Republican nominee for vice president, focused heavily on policy during the hour-long lecture and question-and-answer session.

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He blamed political division for gridlock in Congress, saying technology has created an outrage machine. People are “monetizing” emotions, he said, causing “entertainment wings” of each party that focus on emotional responses rather than the merits of their parties.

Ryan said people should still be optimistic about the future of the country because of a strong economy, and touted the Republican-led tax reform plan passed in December 2017.

Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks on March 11 in US Today:
He said one of the House’s biggest mistakes during his tenure was taking too long to negotiate a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Ryan blamed the right-leaning flank of the party, including the Freedom Caucus, for causing a three-month delay in moving the legislation through the House.

“That three-month delay eroded public support for it, so by the time it got over to the Senate, it was hanging on a thread,” Ryan said.

Ryan said if there weren’t delays in moving it through the House, he would have expected it to pass the Senate.

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Ryan argued his chamber had several successes that were overlooked, including bipartisan efforts on criminal justice reform, response to the opioid crisis, repealing some small business regulations and energy reforms that have increased American oil production.

But he said more needs to be done to reform immigration and health care.

Ryan said he’d like to see Congress support a plan that eliminates the diversity visa program, reduces visas for extended family members of people who live in America, increases border security funding and finds solutions for “dreamers,” who are minors brought to the U.S. illegally by the parents.

He blamed the Senate’s filibuster rules, which require 60 votes to pass any major legislation, from preventing Republican-led reforms on health care and entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

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