Donald Trump refuses to take the blame for anything. Like him or love him, you will be hard pressed to find one single instance where he has taken the blame for anything that’s gone wrong during his presidency. It’s just how he operates. He pushes blame as far away from himself as he can. Now it appears his next fall guy is Paul Ryan.
Trump is already working his plan for if the Republicans lose the House in two weeks. He plans on blaming Congressional Republicans in general, but specifically the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
The last two presidents have taken the blame for midterm losses, but Trump is not prepared to do the same. A recent Politico report says, “According to two people familiar with the conversations, Trump is distancing himself from a potential Republican thumping on Election Day.”
“According to two people familiar with the conversations, Trump is distancing himself from a potential Republican thumping on Election Day. He’s telling confidants that he doesn’t see the midterms as a referendum on himself, describing his 2020 reelection bid as “the real election.” And he says that he holds House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responsible for protecting their majorities in Congress.”
“According to one person with knowledge of these talks, Trump has said of Ryan and McConnell: “These are their elections … and if they screw it up, it’s not my fault.””
One GOP aide told them “Look for the White House to say something like, ‘Paul Ryan chose to be a lame duck speaker instead of leaving, which cost Congress the chance to do several things before November.”
Ryan has already announced his retirement, but refused to give up his speakership title. The lack of a committed leader and the inability to select a new one will be the go-to excuse for the lackluster performance of the GOP in the midterm elections.
These upcoming losses, and there will be at least a few, will be tough on Trump who will take it all very personally. Politico put it this way: “A Democratic wave would be especially awkward for a president whose brand is success, and who boasts that his record in office is unmatched by any of his modern predecessors.”
The fact that Trump is trying to plan for who will take the blame shows he deeply cares about the upcoming elections and the way the results will be a reflection on him. This mess is Ryan’s fault, but it’s also the fault of all GOP members, and ultimately it’s a direct reflection of Trump. That’s just the way the American political system works.