Wednesday morning Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, announced that he will not seek re-election to his seat in November.
Speaker Paul Ryan: "We all know that I did not seek this job. I took it reluctantly. But I have given this job ever… https://t.co/jnILywzBfI— ABC News (@ABC News)1523456557.0
While Donald Trump's response to the news was cordial:
Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achi… https://t.co/ijIKo4oSgl— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1523454623.0
Conservative Pro-Trump news anchor Lou Dobbs wasted no time in taking to Twitter to slam Paul Ryan, saying "he's done all the damage he can to the GOP."
Ryan must believe he's done all the damage he can to the GOP: House Speaker Ryan won't run for re-election… https://t.co/ZmBHI3C5Zv— Lou Dobbs (@Lou Dobbs)1523454079.0
Many conservatives on Twitter concurred with Dobbs, particularly Trump loyalists who feel that Ryan was insufficiently loyal to the President.
🛑WATCH CLOSELY WHO IS WHINING ABOUT 🐀PAUL RYAN LEAVING #DrainTheSwamp #MAGA #KAG #QAnon #GreatAwakening https://t.co/Yk7HIQROYg— 🇺🇸 Miguelifornia (@🇺🇸 Miguelifornia)1523450660.0
And those who feel that Ryan represented the very swamp that Trump was elected to drain:
@LouDobbs @realDonaldTrump Now if he could just take Mitch McConnell with him...— Proud American (@Proud American)1523454201.0
@LouDobbs @realDonaldTrump I wonder what Ryan's future plans are. I'm sure that #RINO snake will pop up somewhere we don't want him.— Piper Nook ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (@Piper Nook ⭐ ⭐ ⭐)1523454196.0
@LouDobbs @realDonaldTrump good riddance, one more to go. #DitchMitch— randall clark (@randall clark)1523454203.0
@Nunyabiz1111 @LouDobbs @realDonaldTrump don'f forget about @USAGSessions. He has done nothing to protect the presi… https://t.co/X0jD3sF8SG— Ike (@Ike)1523454853.0
@LouDobbs @realDonaldTrump Great news! Another swamp creature gone!— Suzanne (@Suzanne)1523456329.0
Because from their perspective, Republican leadership is what has stood in the way between them and the full implementation of Trump's agenda.
@LouDobbs @realDonaldTrump Please excuse my language but I was just wondering if Mueller will now investigate Ryan… https://t.co/w1rjAg4zXI— Maureen Curran (@Maureen Curran)1523454289.0
And insufficiently conservative for their tastes:
@StephenMilIer I pray that the @GOP finally gets a conservative speaker. @SpeakerRyan is a libtard with a R beside his name!— Joe Tran Dirt citizen journalist (@Joe Tran Dirt citizen journalist)1523463081.0
Paul Ryan, to them, is an anchor around their re-election chances:
Just heard that RINO Paul Ryan is retiring. My heart is broken...NOT! He should step down now from the speaker s… https://t.co/WKLsaTqhET— ❌ barbara TRUMPLORABLE ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@❌ barbara TRUMPLORABLE ⭐️⭐️⭐️)1523462618.0
One MAGA fan felt perhaps there was something else going on here:
@jeepers2003 @StephenMilIer @GOP @SpeakerRyan Not going to happen. The Rino's hold too many positions. I think some… https://t.co/mtqXR5PSIK— RN MAGA (@RN MAGA)1523463246.0
Speculation that Ryan has an eye on the White House is nothing new, of course:
Whispers about Ryan’s potential retirement had circulated around Washington for months, and the news now forces his fellow Republicans to jockey for position. Additionally, Ryan and his team “have operated under the assumption that if Republicans enact the first tax overhaul in 30 years, much of the frustration will wane — and party-wide euphoria at the realization of their first major legislative victory will make the year-end, bipartisan deals easier to swallow,” but The Washington Times reports that Ryan told confidantes that the tax-cut bill was his chief goal, and if Congress can finish it this year the speaker will conclude his work is done.”
“There is certainly a school of thought that says ‘leave on a high note,’” a GOP lawmaker close to Ryan told The Hill in November. “And passage of tax reform would be a high note for a guy that’s spent 18 years in Congress working on it.”
As for those running for Ryan's seat on the Democratic side, one challenger wasted no time in declaring victory:
BREAKING: WE JUST REPEALED PAUL RYAN Now it's time to replace him. Chip in to help us build this campaign and give… https://t.co/hiCRB3LkdW— Randy Bryce (@Randy Bryce)1523455238.0