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Paul Ryan tells conservatives: Don't let another 'progressive' in the White House

By Ann Marie Awad
Paul Ryan tells conservatives: Don't let another 'progressive' in the White House
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called for Republicans to unite and prevent another "progressive" from reaching the White House. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan told a crowd at a conservative policy summit Wednesday that the Republican party was one presidency away from "losing control of the situation."

The Wisconsin Republican spoke to conservative group Heritage Action's policy summit Wednesday, telling attendees that the stakes are high in the 2016 presidential race.

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"If a progressive gets the White House, then we won't have the kind of entitlement reform we need to get our debt under control and to get our budget balanced," he said. "We will have a real crisis on our hands."

Ryan said the answer was unity among Republicans and said it was time to "unite the clans," quoting Braveheart.

"The left would love nothing more than for a fragmented conservative movement to stand in a circular firing squad so the progressives can win by default," he said.

Heritage Action opposed many issues on former House Speaker John Boehner's agenda before he resigned in October. ABC News reported Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, leader of the House Freedom Caucus, was scheduled to speak later Wednesday. Jordan was a vocal critic of Boehner.

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The Huffington Post reported Paul held a tense budget meeting with Freedom Caucus members on Tuesday, shortly after his first meeting with President Barack Obama since Ryan was elected speaker.

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