Speaker Paul Ryan: ‘I Can’t Support Donald Trump’

In an interview with CNN‘s Jake Tapper today, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that he cannot, as yet, stand behind Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee.

Paul Ryan has been critical of the Republican candidates during this fierce primary season, coming out several times to address the tone of the race – which saw Donald Trump and his rivals going after each other with vicious and personal insults, turning debate stages into verbal fistfights. Today Speaker Ryan backed up his previous statements on the tone of the race, stating firmly and unequivocally that he does not support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee – at least not yet, reports the Washington Post.

“Republicans have been watching each other go after each other after six months,” said Speaker Paul Ryan during an interview with CNN today. “It’s time to go from tapping into anger to channeling that anger into solutions.”

While Ryan declined to give a specific reason for his non-endorsement of the Trump campaign, he did elaborate on his misgivings, suggesting that he wants to make sure the Republican nominee is a “champion of conservative values,” dredging up the line Ted Cruz used against the New York billionaire, alleging that Trump isn’t a “real” conservative.

Today’s pronouncement from House Speaker Paul Ryan reflects the growing divide within the Republican party, the wedge driven between Trump supporters and the so-called “Washington establishment” which Trump continually rails against in his campaign speeches, and in his messages on social media – alleging that the Republican race is rigged, and that the establishment is out to stop Trump from getting into the White House.

“I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now,” Speaker Paul Ryan told CNN‘s Jake Tapper earlier today.

Ryan continued, describing the tough work ahead of Trump in unifying the Republican Party behind his cause, rallying a fractured party around a controversial candidate who has openly criticized the Republican Party and party leadership.

“The bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee, I don’t want to underplay what he accomplished, but he also inherits something very special, that’s very special to a lot of us. This is the party of Lincoln and Reagan and Jack Kemp,” said Speaker Paul Ryan.

In the past, Paul Ryan has criticized Trump for his fiery rhetoric, specifically his racially divisive statements about Muslims and Hispanics.

“Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islamic terror are Muslims,” Paul Ryan said earlier this year, when asked about Trump’s controversial proposal to ban Muslim immigration to the United States.

Paul Ryan was also rumored to be running a “shadow” campaign in hopes of securing the Republican nomination at a contested convention this summer, and despite Ryan himself stepping into the spotlight to dispel those rumors on numerous occasions, the Speaker remained a favorite among anti-Trump Republicans looking for an alternative to the Trump candidacy.

Paul Ryan himself released a video earlier this year which featured what some commentators described as a “presidential” address on the tone of the Republican primary race, urging candidates to rise above the infighting and insults and to discuss substantive policy issues instead of trading barbs on the debate stage.

CNN‘s Jake Tapper asked Paul Ryan about Trump’s controversial proposals – the suggestion that he would deport 12 million undocumented immigrants, and his opposition to Muslim immigration – and Ryan didn’t name a specific issue which precluded him from supporting Trump; instead, he diplomatically backed off the subject stating simply, “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

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