Feb 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Paul Ryan: Biden is "the best bet the Democrats have" to beat Trump

In this image, Biden speaks in the House while Paul Ryan stands next to him.
Joe Biden and Paul Ryan bring a joint session of Congress to order in January 2017. Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that Joe Biden is "the best bet the Democrats have" to beat President Trump in 2020, but cautioned that he expects a more progressive candidate to ultimately win the nomination, CNBC reports.

What he's saying: Ryan said he believes that first-generation, college-educated, white-collar voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and his home state of Wisconsin are the key to winning in 2020 — and that they'll view Biden as a safe and moderate option.

  • "[I]t's going to be the suburbanite that’ll basically be the difference-maker," he said.
  • "A first-generation Republican and they like Trump the idea, they like Trump the disruption — they don’t necessarily like the personality and the noise and the tweets that come with it," Ryan added.
  • The former congressman said that he believes Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg both pose threats that will prevent Biden from being able to rack up the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.

The big picture: Polling ahead of the New Hampshire primary — and Axios' conversations with voters and campaigns — indicate that Biden is at risk of finishing as low as fifth in that contest, behind Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

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