Trump referred to Paul Ryan as 'Ron' twice at a Wisconsin event

Trump calls House Speaker Paul Ryan "Ron"
(Image credit: White House)

President Trump visited Wisconsin on Tuesday, including a stop at a Snap-on tool factory in Kenosha. At the factory, he criticized a Canadian dairy tariff and signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order that directs U.S. agencies to review the use of H-1B visas — granted to high-skill foreigners, especially in the tech industry — and find ways to increase the use of U.S.-made products in certain federally funded construction projects. Accompanying Trump were Gov. Scott Walker (R), Sen. Ron Johnson (R), and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who attended high school in Kenosha. Trump began with a nod to a Wisconsinite not in the room, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R), whose district includes Kenosha.

"My thanks go to Speaker Ryan, who's represented this city for nearly two decades in Congress, and do you know where he is?" Trump asked. "He's with NATO. So he has a good excuse. So I said, Ron, make sure these countries start paying their bills a little bit more, you know, they're way, way behind, Ron." Trump appeared to catch his mistake and pointed to Johnson saying, "I'm going to talk to you about that, Ron," then added: "But Paul, you're over with NATO, get them to pay their bills."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump chose the Snap-on factory because it's "a company that builds American-made tools with American workers." Along with hand and power tools, Snap-on makes shop equipment and software, and it has 11 plants in the U.S. plus factories in China, Brazil, Argentina, Belarus, and several European nations. Snap-on also makes burial urns, and when shown them on Tuesday, Trump called them "very depressing." He narrowly won Wisconsin in November, and his approval rating in the state is currently about 41 percent.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.