)When Rand Paul took control of the Senate floor just before 6 p.m. Eastern, virtually every one of his Republican colleagues grimaced. Five years ago, they would have cheered him.
“Our debt is a threat to this country,” Ryan said in a 2013 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “We have to tackle this problem before it tackles us.”
He was far from alone. Republicans insisted that any spending legislation — even for disaster relief — be paid for with budget offsets. Every major Republican leader talked about debt and deficit relentlessly.
That focus on deficit reduction and spending restraint bled into the 2016 primary as the top tier candidates — including Paul — championed it. One candidate, however, did not.
That candidate was Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed “king of debt.” Trump showed little care or concern for the issue that had animated the party he was running to lead.