Republicans are blaming the White House for the disastrous loss in the Florida Senate election.
They say they didn’t do enough to prepare for the onslaught of negative media attention after the election.
But they also have blamed Trump for the Senate loss, suggesting he should have done more to mobilize the party and the electorate to fight back against the president’s agenda.
And Trump is already criticizing Ryan for criticizing the president during a phone call on Tuesday, saying he should be focusing on winning the White Senate seat.
The GOP Senate majority leader was asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos whether the president is to blame for the GOP losing a seat in the state.
“No, I don’t think so,” Ryan responded.
“I think it was an unfortunate outcome that we lost, and I hope we don’t have a repeat in 2020.”
Ryan has said the president should have focused on winning seats in Congress and said he was disappointed by Trump’s comments during the phone call.
But the White Reporters Association, which represents some of the most powerful reporters in the country, said in a statement Tuesday that Ryan’s remarks were “disgraceful” and should have been taken down from his social media accounts.
Trump on Tuesday also attacked Ryan’s decision to criticize the president, calling Ryan “weak” and “weak on crime” and suggesting that he “lacked toughness.”
Ryan has defended his criticism of Trump, saying the president has been “very effective at making it look like we are weak” in the Senate race.
“It was a mistake to go out and attack him and the president in the same breath,” Ryan said during a campaign stop in Florida Tuesday.
“If the president had called us weak, we would have had a different election outcome.”