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Paul Ryan says he disagrees with Romney’s impeachment vote

Former GOP Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) said Friday he disagrees with Sen. Mitt Romney‘s (R-Utah) decision to vote for President Trump‘s removal from office in this month’s impeachment trial.

It was “purely a conscience vote” for Romney, Ryan said at an event at the University of Virginia, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Ryan was Romney’s running mate when he ran for president as the Republican nominee in 2012.

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Romney, who was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump on either of two articles of impeachment, said prior to his vote that Trump had demonstrated an “appalling abuse of public trust” in his dealings with Ukraine.

Ryan criticized Trump’s rhetoric and said he knew little about governing in Tim Alberta’s book “American Carnage” last year, but said Friday that he believes the president will be reelected in November because of the current “dream” economy.

He said he believes the impeachment trial “actually helped the president,” and predicted that the possibility that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) becomes the Democratic nominee could also help Trump’s reelection effort.

“As a Republican … I love the idea of a Sanders candidacy,” Ryan said. “It gets me excited about the down-ballot. I feel like we’d have a pretty good shot at the House [and] pad our majority in the Senate.”

Trump has criticized Ryan in the past, including ripping his “atrocious” record and blaming him — as a board member — for negative coverage on Fox News. Ryan, however, dismissed Trump’s criticism.

“It is what it is. I sort of shrug my shoulders, move on,” he said Friday. “Let it roll off your back.”

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