Yesterday, Wisconsin voters went to the polls in their state primary election and gave House Speaker Paul Ryan a thunderous and resounding endorsement.
Rep. Paul Ryan handily won his primary election Tuesday in Wisconsin, knocking off a GOP rival in a race that laid bare tensions between the House speaker and the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump at first declined to endorse the nine-term congressman in his contest with water-filtration businessman Paul Nehlen. But after Mr. Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, voiced his support for Mr. Ryan, Mr. Trump followed suit Friday.
Mr. Ryan was winning with 85% of the vote, compared with 15% for Mr. Nehlen, with 28% of precincts reporting, when the Associated Press declared Mr. Ryan the victor.
Ryan went on to win with 84% of the vote.
Despite Trump’s late and half-hearted endorsement of Paul Ryan on Friday, an endorsement Paul Ryan wan not on hand to accept, Ryan’s opponent, Paul Nehlen, was a Trump proxy attack on Paul Ryan. Trump had basically endorsed Nehlen earlier. For instance,
Thanks to @pnehlen for your kind words, very much appreciated.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2016
In an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday, Trump said he was not backing Ryan in his primary election next Tuesday in Wisconsin, or McCain in his Arizona primary later this month…
Trump praised Ryan’s underdog opponent, Paul Nehlen, for running “a very good campaign” and said of Ryan: “I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country. We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”…
Not only did Trump staffers find their way to Nehlen’s campaign but Trump surrogate, Sarah Palin, campaigned for Nehlen as did Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. And naturally all manner of Branch Trumpidian lapdogs gave Nehlen coverage (sorry, no link or attribution for this, I don’t want to encourage the mentally ill to harm themselves by giving them attention):
Businessman Paul Nehlen luanched his #DumpRyan tour in April. A large yellow dump truck with the #DumpRyan message toured Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District in order to bring awareness on Paul Ryan’s big spending, Obama supporting, open borders record.
Nehlen winning was a long shot from the get-go. His only purpose, other than attention-whoring, was to put a scare into Ryan by giving him a close race and raising the specter of Davit Brat’s upset of Eric Cantor. In the end, the gambit backfired. Donald Trump had to throw his stalking horse under the bus in order to avoid repudiation. Ryan was able to give Trump the figurative finger by snubbing his endorsement rally and trouncing his Trumpidian challenger. This is not a little thing. Trump’s hold on the GOP is based on the utter fiction that he has mobilized a large number of previously disengaged voters and that he can use those followers to damage his opponents. Anyone seriously following the race knew this was not true. Trump won the nomination with barely 40% of the vote and his win is attributable to the way the GOP weighted the primaries and the number of candidates in the GOP field. Paul Ryan has shown that you can tell Trump to f*** off and not pay any price for it. This will no go unnoticed by either other GOP candidates or the voters.