Speaker of the House Paul Ryan isn’t sweating claims from Sarah Palin that he’s out of touch with his constituents and could be knocked out of office in a primary.
The 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate criticized Ryan over the weekend for saying that he can’t currently support Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. She suggested to CNN that Ryan could be “Cantored” in the primary, a reference to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who was knocked out of office in 2014. Palin also endorsed Ryan’s primary challenger, Paul Nehlen.
In an interview with affiliate WCLO on Monday, the Janesville Republican shrugged off the claims that he’s out of touch with the people in Wisconsin First Congressional District. “People here know me extremely well and they know I’m a person of conviction,” he said. “I don’t think people here pay that close attention to outside…influence.”
Ryan said the fact that people like Palin are endorsing his opponent really illustrates a point. “Our party is not yet unified right now, and if we stay dis-unified, we will not win this fall. And if we pretend we’re unified, without actually unifying, then we will be at half strength and we will not win this fall.”
While Ryan declined to endorse Trump last week, he did say he is willing to work with the presumptive GOP nominee to help unify the party. The two are expected to meet in Washington later this week.
Affiliate WCLO contributed to this report.