Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly on Wednesday endorsed Paul Nehlen, a conservative primary challenger to House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying it was important to elect a candidate who would put "America first" and be more supportive of Donald Trump.
"If [Ryan] can't get in line with [a] majority of the electorate on the biggest issue [immigration], he should resign and we should get someone who fulfills the wishes and the hopes of the majority who just nominated Trump," Schlafly told Breitbart News.
"It doesn't sound like he [Ryan] is loyal to the Republican Party," she added in reference to his lukewarm support for Trump. "We need someone who is going to be a spokesman for the Republican Party and its nominee. And if Ryan doesn't fill that bill, we should get another one."
Ryan is facing off against Nehlen, an executive at a water filtration company, in Wisconsin's Aug. 9 primary. Nehlen has emphasized border security as a cornerstone of his campaign, and more recently, criticized Ryan for failing to support Trump with greater enthusiasm.
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"We don't want anybody who believes in open borders. Obviously Paul Ryan is not an 'America first' guy," Schlafly said. In the event Ryan wins re-election, she added, "I don't think we should accept him as speaker. We need a new leader in Congress who will represent the issues that Donald Trump ran on because they were the winning issues."
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican nominee for vice president, endorsed Ryan on Wednesday, though Trump has yet to get involved with the race. "I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country. We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I'm just not quite there yet," Trump said in a Tuesday interview, echoing language Ryan once used before eventually endorsing Trump.