House Speaker Paul Ryan was in Minnesota on Monday, spending time in two congressional districts that his Republicans are trying to hold on to.
The Speaker is stepping down as a congressman after his current term, but is now using his clout to hold on to the GOP's majority in the U.S. House, in a year in which Democratic turnout is expected to surge.
Ryan met with 3rd District Rep. Erik Paulsen, paying a visit to Best Buy's HQ in Richfield, before then meeting with 2nd District Rep. Jason Lewis in Burnsville.
Both of these seats are at risk for the GOP this year, with Lewis facing a challenge from DFLer Angie Craig and Paulsen under threat from Dean Phillips.
Ryan spent his time in the Twin Cities touting his government's tax bill, visiting Burnsville's Nuss Truck & Equipment alongside Lewis and telling KARE 11 the bill is bringing jobs, investment and sales for American companies.
While with Paulsen, Ryan praised the 3rd District representative as someone who can reach across the aisle to get things done, the Star Tribune reports.
He told the newspaper Minnesota is "a great opportunity" for the GOP this year, with the Republicans also hopeful of flipping the 8th Congressional District in northeast Minnesota.
Facing increased pressure from constituents recently, Paulsen has been making efforts to distance himself from some of the policies of President Donald Trump in recent months.
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But their visit to Best Buy HQ didn't go unnoticed by a handful of members of the Indivisible MN03 protest group, which has been working to get Paulsen out of office and which criticized Ryan and Paulsen for holding a behind-closed-doors meeting.
Meanwhile, in the 2nd district, Angie Craig called out Lewis for his record on healthcare, saying he has "voted to raise ... costs and gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions."
"In light of Ryan’s visit, we’d like to know if Lewis agrees with the Speaker’s plan to slash Social Security and Medicare," she added.