- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 8, 2016

Former Alaska Gov. and 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin eviscerated House Speaker Paul Ryan on Sunday morning, saying the Wisconsin Republican’s “political career is over” and publicly endorsing his primary opponent.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mrs. Palin — who was one of the first big-name Republicans to endorse the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump — said Mr. Ryan’s refusal to back Mr. Trump all but guarantees that conservatives will turn against him. She said the House speaker faces the same political tidal wave that doomed former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost his 2014 Virginia primary to tea party favorite David Brat.

“I think Paul Ryan is soon to be Cantored, as in Eric Cantor. His political career is over but for a miracle because he has so disrespected the will of the people … For him to already come out and say who he will not support was not a wise decision of his,” Mrs. Palin said.

Last week, Mr. Ryan said he could not yet support Mr. Trump as the party’s presidential nominee. The two men are scheduled to meet this week as a first step toward resolving their differences and unifying the party.

But Mrs. Palin said she will actively work to oust Mr. Ryan from the speakership. For the first time Sunday, she publicly endorsed Mr. Ryan’s primary opponent, Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen.

“I will do whatever I can for Paul Nehlen. This man is a hard-working guy and is so in touch with the people,” she said. “Paul Ryan and his ilk, their problem is they have become so disconnected from the people whom they are elected to represent, as evidenced by Paul Ryan’s refusal to support the GOP front-runner … Their problem is they feel so threatened at this point that their power, their prestige, their purse will be adversely affected by the change that’s coming with Trump and someone like Paul Nehlen that they’re not thinking straight right now.”

Mrs. Palin also accused Mr. Ryan of secretly hoping Mr. Trump loses in November so that the House speaker can mount his own White House bid in four years.

“It kind of screws his chances for the 2020 presidential bid that he’s gunning for,” she said. “I think that one is Paul Ryan’s reason.”

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