September 28, 2022
FLORENCE, South Carolina — Former House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) are hopeful Georgia Republican primary election voters' rejection of former President Donald Trump-endorsed candidates bodes well for Rice.

FLORENCE, South Carolina — Former House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) are hopeful Georgia Republican primary election voters’ rejection of former President Donald Trump-endorsed candidates bodes well for Rice.

Voters yearn for contenders “who actually do the work of solving people’s problems,” according to Ryan.

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“The Georgia voters last week just told us they want honest conservatives who are focused on their problems, not someone’s vendetta,” he told reporters in a Florence, South Carolina, hotel lobby after a pro-Rice luncheon.

Rice admitted he is “pleased” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger emerged victorious from their primaries against Trump-backed opponents. Rice is amid his self-described “biggest test” against Trump-aligned state Rep. Russell Fry since clinching his 7th Congressional District seat a decade ago.

“Gov. Kemp has delivered for the voters of Georgia, and they repaid him. I think Raffensperger delivered for the voters of Georgia, and they repaid him for that,” he said. “I’m hopeful that the people in this district feel the same.”

Ryan quipped his opinions of Trump “are very clear,” contending the Republican Party is experiencing “growing pains.” But he is optimistic power will heal the GOP’s fractures.

“If you become a majority party, you have to be a big tent party that can accommodate all different kinds of conservatives,” he said.

Both Ryan, who earned a reputation as a wonk during his time on Capitol Hill, and Rice, a buttoned-up former tax lawyer, underscored the importance of policy over personality. The pair emphasized Rice’s record with small businesses and lower socioeconomic constituents. Rice is poised to be promoted to a senior position next term if he is reelected, Ryan added.

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Ryan is Rice’s second noteworthy national guest after former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another Trump critic.

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