Paul Ryan admits a 'lot' of GOP lawmakers were in favor of impeaching Trump but 'didn't have the guts'
Paul Ryan (Photo by Brendan Smialowski for AFP)

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) recently admitted that while many Republicans were in favor of impeaching former President Donald Trump, many “didn’t have the guts” to do so.

On Wednesday, June 1, Ryan appeared at an event in Florence, S.C., where he reiterated his support for Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), whom he has also endorsed, HuffPost reports.

Ryan also commended the lawmaker for having the courage to cast a vote in favor of Trump's impeachment. Rice was one of only 10 Republican lawmakers to vote with Democrats to impeach Trump after the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. Their unprecedented votes ultimately led to Trump being the only twice-impeached president in U.S. history.

Because of his vote, he also became one of the Republican lawmakers Trump is determined to defeat. Now, he is embroiled in a heated election battle with Trump-endorsed candidate, State Rep. Russell Fry (R-S.C.). However, Ryan still believes Rice is the right man for the job.

“There were a lot of people who wanted to vote like Tom but who just didn’t have the guts to do it,” said Ryan, according to The Myrtle Beach Sun News.

“There are a lot of people who say they’re going to vote their conscious, they’re going to vote for the Constitution, they’re going to vote for their convictions, but when it gets hard to do that, they don’t do it,” he said, adding, “Tom Rice is a man of conviction."

Although Ryan is fond of Rice, the South Carolina lawmaker has made it clear where he stands on politics. Per The Sun: "Rice has argued that Republicans ought to stick with Trump’s policy ideas but abandon the man. He called his House reelection bid a battle between “nerds” like himself and Ryan, who aim to enact conservative policy, and “flamethrowers” who put allegiance to Trump over all else."

Ryan's latest remarks come just days after he criticized what he describes as "entertainer" lawmakers who, according to HuffPost, are more focused on building "a noticeable 'brand' rather than work with colleagues to pass legislation."

At the time, Ryan said, “If you are going to entertain, if you are going to try to show that you’re better than everyone else within your own ecosystem,” it makes compromise more difficult to achieve and ultimately “divides us."