Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) said he'll support "anybody but" Donald Trump in the 2024 election, adding that he won't attend the Republican National Convention next year if the former president is selected as the GOP nominee.
In an interview with WISN-TV broadcast Sunday, Ryan, whose time as speaker included the first two years of Trump's presidency, said he doesn't think the former president will secure the Republican nomination.
"The reason I don't think he'll be our nominee is 'cause we know we're going to lose with him," Ryan said, blaming Trump for repeated GOP defeats over the last years.
During the November midterm elections, Republicans failed to win control of the Senate and only narrowly secured the majority in the House after an underwhelming performance.
"This is a lesson we don't need to repeat again and I think even dire Trump supporters know we're better off with somebody else," Ryan continued.
Ryan said he's not sure he'll endorse a candidate in the primaries.
"Right now, I'm just for a non-Trump candidate," Ryan said. "Anybody but Trump right now, for me."
Republicans have picked Milwaukee to host the Republican National Convention in July 2024. That's also where the first GOP primary debate will be held in August.
But Ryan said his attendance at the convention will depend "on who the nominee is," even though he's a Wisconsin native.
"I'll be here if it's somebody not named Trump," Ryan added.
This comes as the National Republican Committee is taking steps to ensure unity within the party. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said she expects all candidates who participate in the primary debates will be required to pledge to support the eventual nominee.
"I think it's kind of a no-brainer, right?," McDaniel told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday. "If you're going to be on the Republican National Committee debate stage asking voters to support you, you should say, 'I'm going to support the voters and who they choose as the nominee.'"
The field of Republicans in 2024 is looking to be crowded. Earlier this month, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley became the first Republican to challenge Trump in the race. Trump announced his campaign following the midterm elections in November.
Other likely entrants include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Ryan was asked how he would run today's House of Representatives if he were in Speaker Kevin McCarthy's shoes.
McCarthy was officially elected speaker in January after a total of 15 rounds of voting. He only won after agreeing to major concessions to some of the extreme members of his party.
"One thing I'm not going to is Monday morning quarterback my successor," Ryan said.
Ryan acknowledged that McCarthy has a very slim majority and tough issues coming up, including a potential standoff over the debt ceiling.
"After that is settled, I think what he will do, which is I think what he should do, is start preparing an agenda to take to the country - use the majority to cultivate policies that solve today's problems," Ryan said.
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