Failed primary challenger to Speaker Paul D. Ryan Paul Nehlen has taken to debating an empty chair in the speaker’s place as he plans a rematch against Ryan.
Nehlen held an event in the town of Delevan where an empty chair was placed next to a lectern and a microphone according to the Janesville GazetteXtra.
Ryan, who beat Nehlen by 68 points last year in the Republican primary, has largely foregone town hall events this year because he says he wants to avoid angry confrontations.
Nehlen used the event to criticize health care legislation passed by the House, and Ryan for not allowing other legislation.
But Ryan’s spokesman Zack Roday dismissed Nehlen’s approach.
“Political opponents make disparaging claims, that is pretty normal, and Paul is used to it,” Roday said in a statement. “His focus is on serving the people he represents and delivering results for southern Wisconsin.”
Roday also pointed to Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn’s announcement that it is building a $10 billion plant in Wisconsin that could provide up to 13,000 jobs, but Nehlen criticized Ryan for taking credit for the move.