While he stopped short of condemning remarks President Donald Trump reportedly made about immigrants coming from Haiti and some African countries, House Speaker of Paul Ryan of Janesville did express some disappointment in them during a stop in Milwaukee.
Appearing at a Wispolitics.com event, Ryan was asked about claims that Trump referred to used derogatory language to describe the countries during a meeting with members of Congress on immigration reform. Ryan said he read reports about the comments after the fact, and “the first thing that came to my mind was – very unfortunate, unhelpful.”
Ryan said the situation made him think about his own family – Irish immigrants who triumphed and built lives here, despite the discrimination they faced after arriving in the U.S. “It is a beautiful story of America,” he said.
Ryan touched on a number of other issues during the event, including claims from some critics that the tax reform plan passed by Republicans at the end of 2017 will have a similar effect on GOP candidates during the 2018 midterms, costing them majorities in the House and Senate. Ryan argued that he does not expect it to cost members seats though, because “this law is becoming more popular once it get enacted.”
Still, Ryan admitted that history is against them when it comes to holding on to control of Congress. “Historically speaking the trend is that the party of the president does poorly – loses on average I think 32 seats in the House in the president’s first midterm,” he said.
Republicans currently have a 24 seat majority in the House, and Ryan said they will have to “buck” history if they hope to hang on to power.