President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday swatted down boos from crowd at a Wisconsin rally that were aimed at Speaker Paul D. Ryan.
“Oh, no,” Trump exclaimed as the crowd responded to his mention of the Wisconsin Republican, who had spoken just minutes earlier. “I’ve come to appreciate him.”
Tuesday’s rally in West Allis was the first time Trump and Ryan have appeared in public together since the billionaire businessman launched his presidential bid. They had several public disagreements throughout the campaign, but both contend they’ve moved on since the election.
Ryan claims to speak with the president-elect almost daily. Those conversations have seemed to help Trump learn to trust him.
“He’s like a fine wine,” Trump said Tuesday. “Every day [that] goes by I get to appreciate his genius more and more. Now if he ever goes against me, I’m not going to say that, okay? He’s a great guy and we have some amazing things in store.”
Trump signaled that he’ll defer to Ryan’s expertise in repealing the 2010 health care law and overhauling the tax code. “He’s going to lead the way,” the president-elect said.
When speaking about his tax plan, Trump noted the former Ways and Means Committee chairman will be particularly helpful. “This is where we really need Paul.”
But Trump also warned Ryan that he needs to support his policies on immigration, saying, “But we’re going to work on the wall, Paul.”
“You think we’re playing games?” Trump said. “Somebody said the other day, ‘Well now that Trump won, he’s not going to build the wall.’ I said, ‘What are you -- ?’ We’re going to build the wall. Believe me.”
Later, Trump told the crowd that the country is going to win under his administration.
“We’re going to win so much, you’re going to Paul Ryan and you’re going to go, ‘Mr. Speaker, please. Please. We can’t stand winning this much. We can’t take it.’” Trump said. “And he’s going to come to see me and he’s going to go, ‘Mr. President, the people in Wisconsin are tired off winning so much.’”
Trump then offered up his reply. “Paul, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. You have to go back and tell them we’re going to keep winning and winning and winning whether they like it or not.”
If Ryan had any qualms about what Trump said during the speech, you couldn’t tell afterwards. The speaker was all smiles as he shook hands with Trump after the speech and presented the president-elect with a Green Bay Packers jersey with Trump printed where the players’ name usually is.
Ryan, who spoke briefly to the crowd and introduced Vice President-elect Mike Pence, said Republicans are excited to have at four years of a unified Republican government so that they can reverse policies from the Obama administration that have hampered economic growth and enact new policies that will help create jobs.
“Is this not so cool? Is this not incredible?” Ryan said of the election results and Wisconsin’s key role in them. “It was before I had my driver’s license the last time Wisconsin went Republican.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Republican National Committee chairman and incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus also spoke briefly.
Trump called Priebus a “superstar” and said Walker, who ran against him in the presidential primary, is “tough.”
“Now it’s going to be your turn very soon,” Trump said, looking toward Walker. “You and Pence are going to have to fight it out. I don't know.”