Former vice presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, did not hold back on Sunday when he blasted fellow Republicans who are supporting President Donal Trump's attempt to subvert the 2020 election.
So far, 12 senators have signed on to the effort to overturn the election. The group is being led by Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz, who is pushing forward despite stern warnings from Kentucky Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell not to do so.
In a statement published by a local Milwaukee news outlet, Ryan said:
"All our basic rights and freedoms flow from a fidelity to the Constitution and rule of law."
He castigated his party for abandoning conservative principals in their attempt to subvert the constitution.
"This principle is not only fundamentally American but a central tenet on conservatism."
"Under our system, voters determine the president, and this self-governance cannot sustain itself if the whims of Congress replace the will of the people."
"I urge members to consider the precedent that it would set."
He went on to outline how a vote to reject the Electoral College will in turn be a rejection of democracy.
"Efforts to reject the votes of the Electoral College and sow doubt about Joe Biden's victory strike at the foundation of our republic."
"It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans. The fact that this effort will fail does not mean it not do significant damage to American democracy."
"The Trump campaign had ample opportunity to challenge election results, and those efforts failed from lack of evidence. The legal process was exhausted, and the results were decisively confirmed."
"The Department of Justice, too, found no basis for overturning the result. If states wish to reform their processes for future elections, that is their prerogative."
"But Joe Biden's victory is entirely legitimate."
Many agreed with Paul Ryan.
@nytimes This is the most staggering assault on democracy in the history of mankind. It is the very antithesis of d… https://t.co/ptDcN2C495— Da Apostle 🎓 (@Da Apostle 🎓)1609715406.0
@nytimes Thank you @SpeakerRyan for choosing the United States over the Kremlin, supporting our #CountryOverParty a… https://t.co/6GCjfQZGlt— CitizenRevere 🇺🇸✝🕊✝🇺🇸 (@CitizenRevere 🇺🇸✝🕊✝🇺🇸)1609717755.0
@nytimes Damn. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I agree with the lil zombie.— Manuel Rodriguez (@Manuel Rodriguez)1609727135.0
@nytimes Pigs are flying or hell is freezing over... Paul Ryan and I seem to have found common ground.— T-RaceY (@T-RaceY)1609714875.0
Others were frustrated that it took Ryan this long to speak out.
@nytimes @nhannahjones It appears you can locate your spine after retirement! Amazing.— Francesca Erickson (@Francesca Erickson)1609721574.0
@nytimes For a moment I thought this was the Onion... because Paul Ryan was among those that started this mess way back when— Ana Del Campo (@Ana Del Campo)1609719437.0
@nytimes @andreperryedu So what, like most Republicans, you ran with your tail between your legs. You said little o… https://t.co/hW5fz4U3cG— Dee Malik (@Dee Malik)1609721530.0
@nytimes Coming from the guy who let the fox into the hen house.— jmara (@jmara)1609714403.0
And many took a more cynical approach.
@nytimes I believe the establishment Republicans are coming back.— Patrick Gallagher (@Patrick Gallagher)1609728173.0
@nytimes Here’s Paul Ryan’s big opportunity to get his political career back— Lucky-NH-Guy (@Lucky-NH-Guy)1609718623.0
Please don't try to make Paul Ryan a hero. We all knew he was going to hide and try to ride out the Trump years uns… https://t.co/qwaynyQ5gm— slackerina (@slackerina)1609718069.0
Once Joe Biden is sworn in, the GOP will likely have to do some deep soul-searching.