Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said he does not expect former President Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024.
Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate, made the comments during a discussion with Teneo, a global company that advises CEOs, for the company’s “Insight Series.” Ryan is the vice chairman of Teneo.
“I think Trump’s un-electability will be palpable by then,” Ryan said. “We all know he will lose, or let me put it this way: we all know he’s much more likely to lose the White House than anybody else running for president on our side of the aisle. So why would we want to go with that?”
The former congressman explained that the only reason Trump “stays where he is, is because everybody is afraid of him,” referring to Republicans. “They’re afraid of him going after them, hurting their own ambition.”
Ryan predicted that any Republican electing to challenge Trump in the GOP primary is likely to be patient in announcing a bid for the White House.
“I think people will delay their decisions, and they’ll wait for somebody else to take the first plunge to take the ire of Trump, to have him go after that person and try and hurt them with MAGA voters, so then they can follow behind,” Ryan said.
“So, it’s kind of a prisoner’s dilemma,” he continued. “But the person who gets in the race earlier can organize earlier, can sign up supporters earlier, can sign up donors earlier, can get a better jump on it, so it really is a total prisoner’s dilemma.”
The Wisconsin native said he expects the Republican primary to be crowded in 2024 as some members of the party are currently riding on high favorability.
“There’s a handful of people that are going to run, because it’s the only cycle they can run in. They can’t wait until 2028,” he said. “They’ve got to go now, if they’re ever going to go. And they don’t want to die without ever trying.”
Republicans viewed as potential candidates for president in 2024 include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Ryan said if too many candidates run in the Republican primary, the non-Trump vote could be diluted and the former president would be left with amble support. But the former Speaker predicted that the Republican Party would consolidate behind a non-Trump candidate during the primary.
Highlighting recent polling showing Trump fairing poorly compared to other Republicans in a presidential matchup against Democrats, Ryan said he believes the GOP will choose someone other than the former president.
“Whether he runs or not, I don’t really know if it matters,” Ryan said. “He’s not going to be the nominee, I don’t think.”