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Ryan to Donors: In Battle to 'Retake Soul of Our Own Party'

Image: Ryan to Donors: In Battle to 'Retake Soul of Our Own Party'

 Rep. Paul Ryan (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 01 Aug 2016 07:04 PM

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday told Republican donors they are in a battle to take back the "soul" of the party, The Hill reports.

"We have to do a better job of taking the moral high ground ... showing [conservative] ideas in practice," Ryan told a group of 400 donors gathered in the Rocky Mountains since Saturday at a summer retreated put on by the network of billionaire donors Charles and David Koch.

The efforts "will help us retake the soul of our own party, which we have our own challenges with these days," Ryan said.

While he never mentioned the name of the party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump, he sounded as if he understood the donor's frustration, The Hill reported.

Trump most recently drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike when he attacked the parents of a Muslim American soldier killed in Iraq after they appeared at last week's Democratic National Convention to condemn Trump's call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.

Ryan has endorsed Trump, but has vowed to offer criticism whenever he says something Ryan doesn't think align with GOP principles.

On Sunday, he did just that, issuing a statement in which he said, "America's greatness is built on the principles of liberty and preserved by the men and women who wear the uniform to defend it. As I have said on numerous occasions, a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of these fundamental values. I reject it. Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice. Captain [Humayun] Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice — and that of [his parents] Khizr and Ghazala Kahn — should always be honored. Period."

Ryan told the donors on Monday that while the party had no idea who the nominee would be when the process began with 17 candidates, the goal after arriving at a nominee was to "bring [the Ryan agenda] to the country."

After a pause, Ryan said, "We have a different kind of nominee now," as those in the room began to laugh. "He's unique."

The Kochs and their network have opted not to donate to Trump's campaign over his stance against trade deals and his calls for a Muslim ban and deportation of illegal immigrants.

Ryan said he had planned to work with whoever the nominee was to create policies including tax reform and a replacement for Obamacare. Ryan said he is still working to promote conservative plans.

"We want to be known for this. We want to run on this. We want to earn the right to put this in place," Ryan told the group. "That's the kind of validating election we're seeking."

Ryan said he sees himself as one steering the party in the right direction as he sees it "flirting with various forms of progressivism.

"As Republicans, our challenge is to become a pro-market party and not be a pro-business party," he said.

"I'm looking at the current moment, which is clearly an interesting moment. We see ourselves in the House as sort of the engine room of the ship of the Republican Party," he said. "We're down the bottom ... in the bowels shoveling coal into the furnace. And by the way, there's nothing wrong with coal."

Many in the audience run coal companies, and they clapped in agreement, according to The Hill.

"But we also see ourselves adding a keel and a rudder to the ship; giving it substance and giving it direction," Ryan said. "Giving it a moral foundation."

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House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday told Republican donors they are in a battle to take back the soul of the party, The Hill reports. We have to do a better job of taking the moral high ground ... showing [conservative] ideas in practice, Ryan told a group of 400 donors...
paul ryan, donors, retake, soul, high ground
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2016-04-01
Monday, 01 Aug 2016 07:04 PM
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