Donald Trump just evened the score in his tit-for-tat with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Through a statement issued Thursday night, the presumptive GOP nominee addressed comments made by Ryan earlier in the day in which the prominent Republican said he is “just not ready” to back Donald Trump.
“I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda,” Trump said in an excerpt re-published by Business Insider. “Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!”
Although Donald Trump virtually locked up the Republican nomination after rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich suspended their campaigns earlier this week, so-called “establishment” Republicans have been slow to line up behind the last man standing in the tumultuous primary battle. As noted by NBC News, former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush will not endorse Donald Trump despite his victory over the entire field of Republican contenders. Trump was especially hard on former Florida Governor Jeb Bush when Bush was still in contention for the Republican nomination. Donald Trump also made controversial statements implying that former President George W. Bush was partly responsible for security lapses leading up to the September 11 terror attacks.
Arizona Senator John McCain, who has been the subject of public criticism from Donald Trump, will also skip the aforementioned event. McCain is currently up for reelection in his home state and he has expressed concern that Trump’s ascendancy will hurt his chances to hold on to his seat. Ironically, McCain feels that it is his party affiliation with Trump that will make him appear tainted in the eyes of voters, despite his own contentious history with the real estate mogul.
“I do not take my primary opponent lightly,” McCain said in a recording quoted by CBS News. “But have no doubt that if it is Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona — with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote — I have no doubt that this may be the race of my life.”
It is not completely out of the question that Donald Trump might still win the votes of some of his party’s old guard, including House Speaker Ryan. Ryan, like Trump, has emphasized that party unity is a primary objective as the GOP prepares for a tough race against a Democratic rival after both party conventions adjourn. While a vocal contingent of “Never Trump” Republicans have threatened to withhold their support for their party’s frontrunner in favor of a third-party candidate or even a vote for Hillary Clinton herself, even former Texas Governor Rick Perry is now signaling that he is on board with the billionaire candidate, as well. In fact, Huffington Post reports that Perry – once a favorite of the anti-Trump crowd – has even offered to serve as Donald Trump’s running mate on the eventual Republican ticket.
While Perry’s support could conceivably nudge more Republicans into the Trump tent, Donald Trump still faces an uphill battle against likely Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Current data compiled by Real Clear Politics indicate that Clinton would defeat Donald Trump by double digits in a head-to-head contest.
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