Donald Trump

Paul Ryan Says He Can't Support Donald Trump, At Least Not Right Now

The Republican Speaker of the House left room for him to come around eventually.

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who will serve as the chairman of the Republican National Convention in July, says he cannot support Donald Trump for president—at least not yet. 

The statement by Ryan, who was the party's 2012 vice presidential nominee, indicates just how divisive Trump remains within his own party, even as he has become the GOP's presumptive nominee. And it represents a turn, of sorts, for Ryan, who, despite delivering several blistering implicit criticisms of Trump's comments throughout the campaign, has previously said that he planned to support the GOP nominee, whoever that person is. 

Asked directly by CNN's Jake Tapper this afternoon, Ryan said, "Right now, no. There's some work to be done here."

What, specifically, caused Ryan to withhold his support? The Speaker declined to specify, saying, "I don't want to go back and roll the tape."

But over the last several months, Ryan has issued a number of statements starkly critical of positions that Trump has taken, although he has never criticized Trump directly, by name.

Instead, Ryan insisted that Trump needed to unify the party, and to become a standard bearer for Trump's ideas. And he suggested that Trump's success should cause GOP leaders to react with some humility, saying that Trump "tapped into something that was very powerful, and people are sending a message to Washington that we need to learn and listen to." 

Still, Ryan left himself plenty of wiggle room to come around to supporting Trump at some later point. Although he repeatedly refused to support Trump during the interview, he always qualified that he was declining to support Trump at the moment. Obviously, he's leaving open the possibility that he'll change his mind. Indeed, he hinted that he was hoping he would be able to endorse Trump, saying he believed it was "possible" that Trump could unite the party, but that "we're not there right now."  

I suspect that, before too long, he'll fall in line behind the GOP nominee. With its qualifiers and its hopeful tone, this played more like an attempt to influence the Trump campaign, to push it in the direction that Ryan would prefer, than a prelude Ryan's eventual refusal to back Trump. 

He didn't leave himself many alternatives, ruling out, again, the possibility of accepting the nomination for president himself—as well as the possibility of support for the Democratic nominee. "No Republican should ever think about supporting Clinton," he said, "let me make that clear." 

Update: Trump has issued a response. "I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan's agenda. Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people," Trump said in a statement, according to Politico. "They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!" 

NEXT: Trump Mulls Support for Minimum Wage Hike, Former Ron Paul Aides Convicted, Turkey Prime Minister Stepping Down: P.M. Links

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  1. Yeah, we know, Eddie Munster, Trump isn’t statist enough for you yet. Just give him a little more time.

  2. Scary Vikings loose in USA!

    Soldiers of Odin

    1. I always find it amusing that the press can come up with exact numbers, 2,603 on 3/15/2016 and 4,125 on 5/2/2016, about a vigilante group. And they are new but they already have experts standing by to talk about them.

      1. But the number of US Troops on the ground in Iraq is… meh… couldbe upwards of 5,000(?)

      2. But they don’t know how many illegal Mexicans are here.

    2. Paganophobes, huh?

  3. You’d be hard pressed to find a sitting member of Congress from TEAM RED that is more despised by flyover Republicans than Paul Ryan.

    Another bump in Trump’s polls, in the bag.

    1. it’s like a trend or something.

    2. They do not seem to comprehend how much damage they did to his reputation by surrendering on the budget as he came in as speaker. The clearing the decks thing can only appeal to political wonks.

      1. Is he being primaried? How’s that going?

    3. Among Americans in general, Paul Ryan has a net approval/disapproval of +2%. Donald Trump’s is -18%.

      I’m sure Trump will get a bump in approval within the “hurr hurr, Trump rulez” echo chamber, though. Trump could shit on the American Flag and then wipe it on Mount Rushmore and his poll numbers would go up with that crowd.

  4. Come on, Speaker Ryan, you know the words.
    Two little words…

    “Vote Libertarian.”

    1. He totally does not know what that means.

  5. So hard to figure out who Pete McAdoodle Suderweigel is voting for…

    1. You know, I never thought to ask one of you idiots: Who are you voting for?

      1. Either not voting, or voting Libertarian.

      2. You know, I never thought to ask one of you idiots: Who are you voting for?

        Canuck. No dog in this hunt (directly, anyways). Already saddled with the disastrous election result of Cabin Boy, The Hair That Walks Like A Man, Trulander, etc.

        Believe it or not, I’d actually welcome Trump as a swap for Justin. At least we wouldn’t have to watch that fucking annoying perma-smirk that’s plastered on True-dough’s face…

  6. Look, if ya gotta learn to suck a dick ya gotta take it slow and easy, you can’t just start right off deep-throating it all at once. Especially not a dick the size of Donald Trump. Ryan’ll come around, though. They all will eventually.

  7. It is hilarious seeing all these a-holes refusing to endorse Trump. McCain, Romney, Ryan. Like they are any better. They are all losers.

    1. They haven’t been promised cushy cabinet positions yet, they’re having their girly hissy.

  8. Let’s schedule it for next Tuesday.

  9. Ryan is a RINO, an impotent socialist girlie man, too meek to impeach Obama for his many well documented crimes against the US Constitution.

  10. Oh, I haven’t really been focusing on who I should endorse for President, I’ve been too busy trying to get a cushy civil-service job for my lazy brother-in-law.

    Hint, hint.

    1. Dog-catcher? Fart-catcher?

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