The Republican establishment hasn’t been able to make up its mind this entire election cycle. The establishment clearly resided in the #NeverTrump camp, until it was clear he would earn the nomination. Those initially reluctant to endorse Trump — John McCain, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, and others — all slowly began to do so.
And now in the wake of fallout from the 2005 Trump tape, they’re looking to jump ship. More than 20 Republican governors and congressmen who’d previously endorsed The Donald pulled their endorsements after audio of his 11-year-old “locker room talk” was leaked.
However, that’s doesn’t appear to be what the Republican electorate wants. Just hours before last night’s debate, a poll was released showing Trump’s support had dropped only one point since the leak. Moreover, 74 percent of Republicans said they believe Republican leadership should continue backing Trump.
Paul Ryan, who disinvited the GOP nominee to a campaign event planned the day after the audio was leaked, clearly didn’t get the memo. Ryan was met with shouts of “Trump” (and a few more pointed others) while concluding a speech at Wisconsin Fall Fest, the event that Trump was originally supposed to attend.
Now, Paul Ryan is pulling his support from the Republican nominee entirely.
Via Fox News:
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., used a conference call with Republican members of the House to tell them he would not be defending Trump — telling members “you all need to do what’s best for you in your district,” according to a source familiar with the call.
Ryan said he will not defend Trump or his campaign for the next 30 days, and instead will spend his entire energy making sure that Hillary Clinton does not get a blank check with a Democratic-controlled Congress. He said he won’t be campaigning with the Republican nominee either.
He added that his decisions are being driven by what’s best for his members, not himself. He said that he is willing to endure political pressure to help protect the majority in the House.
A campaign spokesman later told Fox News’ Michael Tobin: “The speaker is going to spend the next month focused entirely on protecting our congressional majorities, “before saying: there is no update” on whether Ryan is maintaining his endorsement.”
I’m not sure if Ryan remembers, but it was he who presided over Congress passing a 1.1 trillion dollar Omnibus bill. He justified and passed that with a Republican majority in Congress. It’s not Hillary Clinton getting a blank check with a Democrat-controlled Congress that scares me; it’s her and Ryan working together.
UPDATE: Trump has posted the following response:
Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2016
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]