Dem Candidate Challenging Paul Ryan Claims Primary Opponent Isn't on His Level, Refuses to Debate

Randy Bryce at the Politicon 'The Power Vote: Latinosí Crucial Role in the 2018 and 2020 Elections' panel / Getty Images
December 21, 2017

Randy Bryce, a Democratic candidate challenging Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) in 2018, is being called on to debate primary opponent Cather Myers after he routinely refused to do so and compared her to an accused white supremacist.

Bryce campaign aides told Vice News reporter David J. Dent in a piece published Wednesday that Myers and Bryce were not on the"same level," saying she was to Bryce what Ryan's Republican challengers are to the GOP leader.

One of those challengers, Paul Nehlen, has retweeted his support for multiple white supremacists and has said he believed is "Pizzagate."

"Bryce aides told me Myers is to their candidate what Paul Nehlen and Nick Police (Republican primary challengers to the speaker) are to Ryan: rivals who simply aren’t on his level," Dent reported. "Bryce’s strategy is to ignore Myers. When I asked about her, he would not even say her name but kept repeating: 'I’m focused on Paul Ryan. That is my opponent.'"

Myers is an elected official on the Janesville School Board and raised her children as a single mother. Meanwhile, records show Bryce become delinquent on his child-support payments to his ex-wife, and also failed to payback a loan from an ex-girlfriend until after he announced his campaign to run against Ryan and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shed light on the matter.

Myers took to Twitter to put an end to the "baseless attacks to deflect from his [Bryce’s] past."

The full tweet included a screenshot of Dent's article and read, "I've heard from enough women to know my primary opponent would make baseless attacks to deflect from his past, but to compare me to a white supremacist crosses the line. #WI01 deserves better than Ryan-style personal attacks. @ironstache I'm ready to debate the issues, are you?"

This was not the first time Myers has fired back when she and Bryce have a difference of opinion. In October, she called Bryce out on Twitter for making "inappropriate" attacks by "sexualizing and objectifying" women, specifically defending Ivanka Trump.

In a statement to the Journal Sentinel, Myers said: "Randy Bryce's refusal to address this issue shows that he doesn't understand why his comments are disrespectful to every woman in Wisconsin's First District. He needs to understand why it's inappropriate to attack a woman he disagrees with by sexualizing and objectifying her. I won't stand for it in this race or anywhere else."

CNN’s Jake Tapper previously called out Bryce for refusing to debate Myers. "Why is @IronStache refusing to debate fellow Democrat @CathyMyersWI? Premature to demand to debate @SpeakerRyan," he tweeted back in August.