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Former Speaker Paul Ryan says GOP plan to challenge Biden win is 'anti-democratic,' 'anti-conservative'

Former Speaker Paul Ryan says GOP plan to challenge Biden win is 'anti-democratic,' 'anti-conservative'

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In a rare statement Sunday afternoon, former House Speaker Paul Ryan condemned a GOP effort planned for later this week to challenge Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory, calling the plan “anti-democratic and “anti-conservative.”

“Joe Biden’s victory is entirely legitimate,” the Janesville Republican said in the statement.

Echoing President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, a group of Senate and House Republicans have said they plan to object to the election results when Congress meets Wednesday to tally Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College victory over Trump. The effort to challenge Biden’s win is expected to fail.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, has been reported as having joined the effort.

Ryan said lawmakers should reconsider and stop trying to overturn a legitimate election.

“The fact that this effort will fail does not mean it will not do significant damage to American democracy,” Ryan said.

He noted the Trump campaign’s efforts to challenge the election results “failed from lack of evidence.” Ryan said Biden’s win was “decisively confirmed.”

Ryan said the “whims of Congress” should not “replace the will of the people.”

“It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans,” he said.

Ryan served as House speaker from October 2015 to January 2019. He did not seek reelection in 2018, ending his 20-year career in the House.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Fave 5: Reporter Riley Vetterkind shares his top stories of 2020

Fave 5: Reporter Riley Vetterkind shares his top stories of 2020

It goes without saying this year has been a whirlwind, and it’s not even over yet. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented our state and country with one of the foremost crises of the past century.

While some crises in our history managed to unite the nation, the story of this year’s crisis is much different. COVID-19 and the response to it have accelerated America’s and Wisconsin’s deep political divisions and leave our politics in a nearly constant state of disarray.

Here's a look back at some of this year's top stories in state government and politics. 


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