US House Speaker deals major blow to Trump unity efforts

May 6, 2016 6:40 am
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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's declaration he was not yet prepared to support Donald Trump, is expected to reverberate throughout the party's establishment and its rank and file/AFP
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s declaration he was not yet prepared to support Donald Trump, is expected to reverberate throughout the party’s establishment and its rank and file/AFP

, WASHINGTON, United States, May 6 – US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the nation’s top Republican, said Thursday he was not yet prepared to support Donald Trump as the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, signalling a deep rift within the GOP.

“To be perfectly candid… I’m just not ready to do that at this point,” Ryan told CNN.

Overview
  • "He's got some work to do," Ryan said, noting that "the bulk and the burden" was on Trump to begin the healing after a brutal primary campaign and the brash billionaire's string of insulting remarks about other candidates, Muslims, Mexicans, refugees, women and others.
  • "It's time to set aside bullying. It's time to set aside belittlement," Ryan said.
  • Thursday's comments were all the more startling because Trump has now emerged as the party's standardbearer and Ryan will be co-chairman of the Republican presidential nominating convention in July.

“I hope to though, and I want to. But I think what is required is that we unify this party.”

It was a stunning declaration expected to reverberate throughout the party’s establishment and its rank and file, amid swirling concerns over whether conservatives will rally around Trump in his expected election matchup against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Ryan, who repeated he would not accept the nomination in case of a contested convention, was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012 and is currently second in line to the presidency.

While his role as House Speaker makes him a quintessential symbol of the Washington establishment that Trump supporters loathe, his public doubts about the standardbearer could filter down to millions of voters.

“He’s got some work to do,” Ryan said, noting that “the bulk and the burden” was on Trump to begin the healing after a brutal primary campaign and the brash billionaire’s string of insulting remarks about other candidates, Muslims, Mexicans, refugees, women and others.

“It’s time to set aside bullying. It’s time to set aside belittlement,” Ryan said.

Thursday’s comments were all the more startling because Trump has now emerged as the party’s standardbearer and Ryan will be co-chairman of the Republican presidential nominating convention in July.

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