Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was given two chances to criticize Trump’s racism and bigotry on Meet The Press and both times Ryan refused to call out the Republican frontrunner.
You came down hard on Donald Trump on his proposal on Muslims. You said: “this is not conservatism. What was proposed … is not what this party stands for and, more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.” Very hard. In many ways you gave cover for other Republicans to also criticize him. Here we are, two weeks later, about 10 days after he’s done it. Is Donald Trump more in step with the party right now than you are?
SPEAKER PAUL RYAN:
I think it’s a big tent Republican party. I don’t think I’m out of step because I’m a known conservative. Look, people know me as a very conservative person who’s been advancing ideas like balancing budgets, reforming welfare, entitlements, tax reform. All the rest.
There is room in this tent for a lot of people. It is a majority party. This nomination process is going to be healthy. I trust the Republican primary voter to pick a nominee that can take us all the way to win the White House so we can fix this country.
Are you concerned, though, about Donald Trump’s rhetoric? Obviously, you were with that one.
SPEAKER PAUL RYAN:
Obviously, I don’t agree with what he said with respect to a religious test. I was speaking up for the First Amendment. Religious freedom, right of conscience, that is a fundamental right. It’s a natural right. And it’s a Constitutional right. And it’s something that we as conservatives should always forcefully defend.
If Ryan didn’t want to criticize Trump personally, he could have criticized the language or the idea that bigotry is an acceptable policy. Instead, Ryan chose of offer his opinion. He didn’t stand up as a leader within the Republican Party and condemn Trump.
Paul Ryan was afraid to call out Donald Trump is stronger terms, because Trump’s supporters are the Republican Party. Paul Ryan is one of the two highest-ranking elected Republicans in the entire country, and he took the gutless route when the conversation turned to Trump.
Republicans love tough talk, but at heart they are cowards. Republicans are afraid of Trump, which is why he is leading their primary. Bernie Sanders called Trump a pathological liar today, but nothing of the sort will be said in the Republican Party.
Speaker Ryan was supposed to be the leader that Republicans needed. Instead, he caved on the omnibus and hid from Donald Trump.
Rep. Ryan isn’t a leader. He’s just a typical weak-kneed Republican.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association