Now that House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced that he won’t seek reelection in 2018, many agree that white supremacist — and Republican — Paul Nehlen is the frontrunner to take his place.
Most right-wing figures have now cut ties with Nehlen as his views became more apparent, but he initially got a boost from people like Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter when first ran against Ryan in 2016. After he appeared on an antisemitic podcast and shared a bunch of racist memes on social media, Bannon publicly disavowed him this December. The final straw for the Wisconsin Republican Party was when he shared a racist image of fiancée to Prince Harry Megan Markle, followed by a list of Twitter users he identified as Jewish.
In a Facebook post celebrating Ryan’s impending departure, Nehlen called it “good news for America, bad news for special interests who bought Paul Ryan’s vote. My focus has always been on YOU.”
Ryan’s people responded to Nehlen on Wednesday and didn’t mince words.
“There are many qualified conservatives who would be effective representatives for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, and Paul Nehlen isn’t one of them,” Ryan’s campaign head Kevin Seifert said. “His bigoted rhetoric and his reprehensible statements should disqualify him from holding any public office and we are confident voters in Southern Wisconsin feel the same way.”
Although Ryan easily defeated him in 2016, things are different now.
From the Daily Beast:
Nehlen is one of two Republicans who had vied to replace Ryan in 2018, and while other Republicans are likely to jump into the contest before the district’s August primary, Nehlen has more visibility and political experience than his sole existing opponent, Army special forces veteran and businessman Nick Polce. He also is personally wealthy, though local media has investigated his company, Blue Skies Global LLC, and found scant evidence that it does any actual business.
Last week, Nehlen appeared on the white nationalist podcast Radical Agenda, where host Christopher Cantwell told him that “white supremacy” are really just “observations of reality.”
“If you’re like, her white people sort of have accomplished more than other groups then you’re a white supremacist and that just happens to be the case and so fuck it, right?” Cantwell said.
Nehlen seemed to agree.
“Look, I’m a race realist. My wife is a race realist. We all have a good sense of what each other’s races are best at,” Nehlen responded.
It’ll be interesting to see how the GOP handles this lunatic.
Featured image via screen grab/YouTube