The Wisconsin Republican, who served as House speaker from 2015 to 2019, has avoided weighing in on current events since leaving Washington. In a rare statement issued Sunday, however, he warned attempts made by Republican senators to toss out Electoral College results would “do significant damage to American democracy.”
“Efforts to reject the votes of the Electoral College and sow doubt about Joe Biden’s victory strike at the foundation of our republic,” Ryan said. “It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans.”
“The Trump campaign had ample opportunity to challenge election results, and those efforts failed from lack of evidence,” he continued. “The legal process was exhausted, and the results were decisively confirmed.”
Ryan’s remarks came after 12 Republican senators vowed to object to certifying the Electoral College results in a joint session of Congress this Wednesday. The movement is being led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has said he will vote to contest Biden’s win until President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud are investigated further.
Just days after the election, Ryan urged Trump to concede, telling attendees at a November virtual banking conference that the president’s legal team was simply perpetuating “baseless conspiracy theories.” He doubled down on that stance in his Sunday statement, calling Biden’s election victory “entirely legitimate.”
Trump had yet to respond to Ryan’s remarks by Monday afternoon. Previously, the president deemed the former House Speaker a “baby” who “didn’t know what the hell he was doing.”
“I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government,” he said. “Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time.”