Former President Donald Trump pulled no punches this week in responding to a speech by former House Speaker and Fox Corp. board member Paul Ryan, saying that since the latter assumed a leadership role at the network, it has “totally lost its way,” and it “will never be the same,” as Mediaite reports.
Trump went after Ryan in a statement issued through his Save America PAC, and his comments come on the heels of a speech the former Wisconsin congressman delivered to a group of conservatives at the Reagan Library in California on Thursday, according to CBS News.
At that event, Ryan cautioned Republicans about the future direction of the party, suggesting that voters are not interested in continuing the Trump trajectory, asserting, “If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and mettle.”
Making no secret whatsoever of the political personality to whom he was referring, Ryan added, “They will not be impressed by the sight of yes-men and flatterers flocking to Mar-a-Lago,” Trump’s lavish Florida resort.
It did not take Trump long to dispatch a scathing reply to Ryan’s assessment, with the former president assailing the former speaker, whom he called “RINO Paul Ryan.” Trump accused Ryan of losing “all vote-getting capability with the people he represented in Wisconsin” and of being “the single biggest factor, other than [Mitt] Romney himself, for the monumental Romney/Ryan loss in the presidential race of 2012.”
Trump called out what he sees as the audacity of Paul now “speaking to other Republicans telling them how to win elections,” recalling, “I was in the Great State of Wisconsin when they booed him off the podium – I literally had to come to his rescue.”
Moving on to Ryan’s role at Fox Corp., which began in March of 2019, Trump opined, “It was the day that Ryan went on the board of Fox (Fox will never be the same!) that Fox totally lost its way and became a much different place, with millions of its greatest supporters fleeing for good.”
Friday’s statement from Trump was not the first time he has taken issue with Ryan’s presence on the Fox board, referencing him by name last summer in a string of tweets criticizing the network and calling for “an alternative” media vehicle to emerge. At the time, Trump expressed his belief that “Fox keeps on plugging to try and become politically correct. They put RINO Paul Ryan on their board,” as The Hill noted.
In light of the network’s controversial early calls on Election Night 2020, the shameful performance of Sunday host Chris Wallace as a debate moderator last fall, and deepening frustration with the on-air conduct of certain personalities, Trump is certainly not alone in his assessment of the state of Fox during Ryan’s board tenure.