What Will Paul Ryan Do About Trump?
The Speaker of the House is one of the highest positions of leadership in politics. The Speaker is fourth in line to the Oval Office, and is the leader of the legislative branch of government. So, for a general election, the Speaker of the House is very important for the party they are a part of, especially in a presidential race.
Which is why Speaker Paul Ryan has been seemingly torn what to do about this presidential race. He told GOP members today he is not taking away his endorsement, but he will not campaign with him. Ryan said he also will no longer defend him.
When Donald Trump won Indiana, and was obviously going to be the last candidate in the primary race for the Republican Party, Paul Ryan took the media by storm when he said he was still deciding whether or not to endorse the business billionaire. The #nevertrump movement was still going strong, and there was a huge rift between politicians who vowed to keep away from the candidate, and politicians who supported the party’s nominee. There were rumors that Ryan would somehow finagle his way to be a write in at the GOP convention. So, Ryan’s apprehension to endorse Trump just fueled these rumors.
But even though Ryan did formally endorse Trump, the leader seems to be on the fence as to how much weight he actually wants to throw behind the candidate. Inside sources said Ryan’s team did everything they could to ensure the Speaker and the candidate did not meet at the convention. So while Ryan was there, it seems like it was simply for the sake of the party, and to present a united front. Ryan has basically said that while he does not agree with things Trump says, he disagrees with Clinton more. That is not a ringing endorsement.
And now, in lieu of Trump’s most recent campaign scandal, Ryan is again between a rock and a hard place. GOP politicians on Capitol Hill are pulling their support away at a rapid pace. Over two dozen GOP party members or leaders pulled their support from Trump after Friday’s video release. That number is unprecedented. Trump has commented about how party leaders are abandoning him. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, addressed this directly, saying on CBS This Morning, “I certainly hope Speaker Ryan keeps his words and his endorsement of Donald Trump.”
Ryan has reportedly considered pulling his endorsement from Trump. As a leader of the GOP Party, he needs to assess whether it is a better idea to stand by the controversial Republican candidate, or to step away and set the precedent that the party will not condone that type of behavior. The problem is that the GOP itself is split. Trump supporters will never forgive Ryan if he steps away from Trump, but, other voters will not forgive Ryan if he stays with Trump. As someone who will most likely run for president in the future, this is a tough situation to be in. The voters versus party leaders have never been more at a crossroads.
And Trump, who is aware that the party leaders are pulling away from him, took to Twitter to predict their doom. Right after the Washington Post article, Trump took to Twitter where he wrote: “The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly – I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACEE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN! #MAGA”. He continued that all those who pulled their support away from Trump should expect failed re-elections.
The Republican Party is going through a lot of changes. Those who support Trump versus those who strongly criticize him within the party will have some tough decisions to make on election day, and afterwards. The future of the Republican Party is uncertain, and these next few weeks will determine its fate.