Here is what one of the most powerful men in the country looks like selling out. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan did not like Donald Trump. Then on Thursday, in the middle of Hillary Clinton’s best speech so far, and one where she not only knocked the orange man down, but shoved him over some concrete steps, Ryan sold out.
Last December Ryan said that Trump’s comments about banning Muslims from this country were “not who we are as a party” and violate the Constitution:
‘This is not conservatism. Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islam terror are Muslims.’
On the first of March, Ryan had this to say about Trump:
‘If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games. They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people’s prejudices.’
‘There has been a lot of talk in the last 24 hours about one of our presidential candidates and his seeming ambivalence about David Duke and the KKK, so let me make it perfectly clear. That is not the view of Republicans who have been elected to the United States Senate, and I condemn his views in the most forceful way.’
Even in mid-March, Ryan sharply criticized Trump’s suggestion that the GOP convention would see riots if he wasn’t the presidential nominee. He said:
‘Nobody should say such things in my opinion because to even address or hint at violence is unacceptable.’
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper in early May, Ryan said:
‘We hope that our nominee aspires to be Lincoln and Reaganesque,” someone who “appeals to a vast majority of Americans.’
‘I think conservatives want to know does he [Trump] share our values and our principles. There’s a lot of questions conservatives are going to want answers to.’
Then, Ryan started crumbling around the edges. After a meeting with Trump, the speaker said in a joint statement with him:
‘While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground. We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal.’
Majority Whip John Cornyn said that Trump is different in private than he is in public, and the first senator to endorse Trump, Jeff Sessions said:
‘There’s some issues that Trump is clear on, but they shouldn’t be scary for our members. Our members have always said they believe in ending the lawlessness of illegal immigration and always said we have to have trade agreements that are good.’
Then, in a huge act of hypocrisy, Ryan wrote an op-ed in the Janesville Gazette, his Wisconsin hometown newspaper, saying he will vote for Trump in November:
‘It’s no secret that he and I have our differences. I won’t pretend otherwise. And when I feel the need to, I’ll continue to speak my mind. But the reality is, on the issues that make up our agenda, we have more common ground than disagreement.’
‘And House Republicans are helping shape the Republican vision by offering a bold policy agenda, by offering a better way ahead.’
‘Donald Trump can help us make it a reality.’
Trump can help, but will he? Even after Clinton’s powerful speech, Trump managed to take the headline of the day.
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