“It’s been a disaster, quite frankly,” said Ryan, aiming his comments at the 87 freshman Republicans.

“It has been an ideological group who hates government and doesn’t think government has any role in our society," he said.

Ryan went on to suggest that former President Reagan, who is often held up as an icon of the right, would not make it past a Republican primary, given the current Tea Party trend. 

"Ronald Reagan could not win a Republican primary right now," said Ryan. "It’s gotten so far to the right that someone traditionally conservative like Reagan would get beat in a primary.”

Ryan's remarks come as many lawmakers, back in their home districts, are reflecting on the year, and especially the bruising payroll tax cut fight that ended just days before Christmas.