Paul Ryan Bumps Heads with Trump, Again
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is one of the few Party insiders in DC who has come out for Donald Trump. His former running mate, Mitt Romney, has not only come out against the presumptive nominee, but actively campaigns against him. In this context, it is surprising that Ryan has gone against the current from his colleagues in Washington. Few former candidates have come out to support Trump, and party leaders have decided the week of the convention could be used in a different way (think Portman and Ayotte). John Kasich, who is the host governor for the convention, has not said whether or not he will be voting for him. The point here is that Ryan supporting Trump is actually significant. Politicians are just as subject to peer pressure as the rest of us, and we can expect that he got some angry calls from the anti-Trump movement.
If we think back, Ryan said that he was undecided when first asked if he would support the presumptive Republican nominee. Up until that point, politicians did not have to get behind a certain candidate yet, because there was more than one still in the race. When Cruz and Kasich suspended their campaigns, and Trump received the magical 1,237 delegates he needed, Ryan could only answer he was unsure. This sparked a whole chain of reactions. The first, was that maybe a contested convention was still in the picture, and that Ryan would be the man to lead the movement against Trump.
And this idea has not gone away. On social media, there are various articles from Republicans, who said they were pressured to be party “loyalists,” but came to their senses and are urging all delegates attending the convention to also come to their senses, and not vote for Donald Trump. He wants them to have a change of heart, and choose a different candidate for the party. And the author is not alone, as Scott Walker and John Kasich have also hinted that Trump may very well not be the candidate. Trump himself said that if the party does not get behind him, he will go at it alone.
As for Ryan, although he “supports” Trump over the other option who is Hillary Clinton, he has publicly disagreed with him on two important issues. The first, was over Judge Curiel. Ryan said that Trump’s comments for Curiel to recuse himself were “textbook racism,” and said he strongly disagreed with Trump on this issue. And now, Ryan has also condemned Trump over his use of what he thought to be a sheriff star, but turned out to be a ‘Star of David.” Now, why Trump would use the Star of David over Hillary Clinton, who is a Methodist, is a point that Clinton does not care about. She has said that this is proof that Trump is anti-Semitic. The media ran away with it.
If Ryan really wanted to support Trump, he could have come to his defense. He could have pointed that his daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism, and she is clearly loved by her father. He could have said that the image had nothing to do with the religion, and Clinton herself has nothing to do with the religion, except that she wants the group’s vote. Instead, Ryan called using the star “ridiculous.” His response seems more like a candidate’s response than a party leader’s response. He could have also come to his defense over the Judge Curiel comments, and pointed out that judges recuse themselves from cases all the time over any conflict of interest. Especially, due to the judges race-and that especially happens to caucasian judges. But instead, Ryan added fuel to the media frenzy and the Democrat attack by saying publicly he disagrees with Trump.
All of this, right before one of the most important conventions in recent history, makes one wonder the real purpose and the real reason party leaders refuse to support Trump. Even if they disagree with the candidate, you would think they would at this point try to focus on common ground, and do their best to work to help Trump’s cause. Instead, they are moving in the opposite direction, and making the situation harder for Trump as he gears up for the general election with Hillary Clinton. All of this just seems very suspicious, with just a few short weeks left until Republicans convene to rally around their candidate in Ohio.