Donald Trump’s top campaign adviser on Thursday said the presumptive Republican presidential nominee would not seek to oust House Speaker Paul Ryan if he is elected, a position that could be crucial to the party’s gains in 2018.
“Paul Ryan has made a lot of enemies and people have tried to make fun of him,” Jason Miller told Fox News.
“I think he is an excellent leader.
I think he’s an excellent speaker and I think I think we have a great chance of getting him elected.
I am very confident that Paul Ryan will be a successful president.”
If he’s elected, I would not be going to him,” Miller added.
Ryan, who is battling cancer, is the longest-serving Republican in the House, serving in Congress from 1999 to 2014.
His tenure as speaker has been marked by turmoil.
Ryan is running for re-election against Democratic Rep. Ryan Costello, a veteran congressman who has held the seat since 1995.
Trump has long criticized Ryan, saying he was too cozy with President Obama, whose health care law Ryan helped to pass.
Ryan has faced growing criticism from Trump for his role in the Obamacare rollout and for pushing the administration to use a controversial $600 billion in stimulus funds to create jobs in the states.
He has repeatedly criticized the Republican establishment for not working to replace Obamacare, and he has said he is more concerned about a government shutdown than any GOP bill.
Trump’s endorsement of a Ryan campaign would come as the GOP is looking to recapture seats held by Democrats in 2018, and could be a significant boost to the GOP as they attempt to gain the House majority in 2018 as well.
Ryan was a major force in pushing the GOP to pass the health care bill, which Trump and other Republicans have said is not needed to solve the nation’s health care crisis.
Ryan’s support for the legislation helped to secure passage and has given Republicans a majority in the Senate.