Presidential Politics

Dear Paul Ryan: I Wrote These News Conference Remarks for You

160323-paul-ryan-3-js-1160I have been a fortunate man, both personally and professionally.

I have a wonderful wife and three children who mean the world to me and always are there for me. And I have always tried to be there for them.

My career choice to be a public servant has been gratifying and rewarding. I’ve tried to make a difference and do what is right … to be honest and to remember who it is I am working for. I have been blessed with great opportunities – in the House of Representatives, as the Vice Presidential nominee and now as the Speaker of the House.

I am extremely thankful for all the blessings that have come my way.

As the Speaker, I naturally have felt a great responsibility to the Republican Party and have tried to make decisions and act in the best interests of the party. Not only is it is my job, it also is how I believe.

Over the past year, and especially the last few months, I have found the decision-making process increasingly more difficult and I have tried to balance the interests of our party and what I believe is best for our country with the statements and positions of our presidential nominee. At the core of my belief is the conviction that appointees to the Supreme Court are the most important challenge facing us and that I, as speaker, need to support our nominee as he presents the best path forward for ensuring that conservatives justices get appointment to the court.

While I are extremely loyal to the party and believe that my support was the right thing to do, I recently found myself considering the issue of party versus country. It is not a simple assessment to make. But one message kept resonating in my head: Our time on earth in finite and we can’t ignore those opportunities when we can make a difference.

I thought about this statement and I thought about my family. And the words that I kept saying to myself were the following: I want to be a person who is remembered for what he did with his time on earth, not what he chose not to do.

And, so, that is what I am going to do.

I don’t think the upcoming presidential election is about party loyalty any longer. I think it is about who we are as a country and who we are as people. It is about our social fabric. Our country is at risk in this current election and the risk is great – and not confined to the appointment of Supreme Court justices.

I have decided the time has come where I need to set my own comfort level to the side and be a person who does something with his time on earth.

Consequently, I am announcing today that I will not support or endorse the Republican nominee for President and that I will do everything in my power to ensure he does not get elected. At the same time, I will work earnestly to elect all down-ticket Republican candidates, and I believe we can be successful with this as our aim.

I know I may, in fact, be putting my career at risk. I understand that. But I am not willing to put our country at risk and I am not willing to put at risk who I am as a person.

I am just one person, of course. So, as part of this effort, I am asking President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney to actively join me in the effort.

This is the right thing to do for our country and I am comfortable with my statement today.

Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.

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