After a brief “warming up” period, Paul Ryan endorsed Donald Trump for president yesterday. It was widely speculated that he eventually would make an endorsement of Trump, but it still came with a few caveats.
Ryan hasn’t made any indication that he’ll help Trump out on the campaign trail, he’s not publicly supporting any of Trump’s policies, and he doesn’t approve of his confrontational style. In other words, Ryan’s endorsement simply seems to mean that he’s voting for Trump – but not much else.
Yesterday was the “endorsement,” and today Ryan is already turning back to criticizing The Donald.
Unprompted by WISN radio host Vicki McKenna, Ryan criticized Trump’s racially-based attacks against the federal judge in California overseeing a civil fraud lawsuit against Trump University. Trump has argued that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican heritage creates, “an inherent conflict of interest,” a position Ryan said he cannot support.
“Look, the comment about the judge the other day just was out of left field for my mind,” Ryan said. “It’s reasoning I don’t relate to. I completely disagree with the thinking behind that. And so, he clearly says and does things I don’t agree with, and I’ve had to speak up from time to time when that has occurred, and I’ll continue to do that if it’s necessary. I hope it’s not.”
Ryan appears to have missed the memo that the law firm Curiel appointed to oversee the case donated heavily to the Clintons. That bit aside, Paul Ryan is willing to work with Trump – if he plays by Ryan’s rules.
And while he used the radio interview to condemn the rhetoric, Ryan had mostly kind words for Trump, with whom he’s had extensive meetings in the weeks between the Indiana primary, when the real estate mogul clinched the GOP nomination, and Thursday’s endorsement.
The speaker said he and House Republicans will begin rolling out a set of conservative policy proposals next Tuesday that he hopes will add “substance and direction” to the GOP’s 2016 campaign. Ryan said Trump offered him assurances that he would be a “partner” in implementing those proposals.
After Ryan betrayed conservatives with the trillion-dollar omnibus bill he passed despite claiming to “hate it,” we’re hoping Trump doesn’t follow Ryan’s lead completely.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]