There seems to be a huge crack within the GOP, and Republican National Convention co-chair Paul Ryan’s recent statements to the media only fueled speculation about Donald Trump dividing the party.
Republican stalwarts like Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz have labeled Donald Trump a “bully” and called him “dumb,” among other names. Now here comes Ryan, who told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, as shared by the Guardian, that he’s willing to walk away if the presumptive GOP nominee asks him to.
The friction was all too clear when Ryan refused to endorse Donald Trump’s nomination, saying “he’s not ready to do that at this point.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 9, 2016
Of course, not one to walk away from an argument, Donald Trump sneered at Paul Ryan’s statements.
“All of a sudden, he wants to be cute,” he told the New Yorker.
But Donald Trump insisted that he was blindsided by Ryan’s statements, especially since they talked about three weeks ago and he described the discussions as “encouraging.”
“I thought everything was fine and then I got blindsided” — Donald Trump talks about Paul Ryan https://t.co/RJevTYgp4t
— New Day (@NewDay) May 9, 2016
“Then, all of a sudden, he gets on and he does this number,” Trump said. “If he doesn’t want to support me, that’s fine.”
But a member of Ryan’s staff debunked the billionaire’s statements, insisting that Trump and the House Speaker have not spoken to each other since March.
This friction among the top Republican leaders is nothing new. Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham already issued statements that Donald Trump should not expect their support nor their votes. According to reports, Congressional representatives and even governors have also withdrawn their support of the presumptive GOP nominee.
Donald Trump is not doing his part either to heal bruised egos among the Republican bigwigs. In fact, he said, there’s nothing wrong about a little tension in the party. Instead of reaching out to Jeb Bush, for instance, he said that if the shoes were reversed, he wouldn’t vote for him either because he pummeled him in his own state.
“I think it would be better if it were unified and I think there would be something good about it. But I don’t think it actually has to be,” Trump stated.
With Paul Ryan, however, it’s different. His endorsement would mean so much to Donald Trump for the symbolism alone, because he is the Speaker of the House and one of the top officials of the GOP. Traditionally, his job — even if ceremonial in nature — would be to rally the Republicans around the billionaire against Hillary Clinton.
And still that would not be enough for Donald Trump to extend the olive branch to Paul Ryan to secure his endorsement.
Speaking to George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, he clarified, “No, I’m going to certainly come down the middle, but I’m just going to have to see what he’s looking for. I was very surprised and very disappointed because, you know, you should be — we’ve got to be cheerleaders for the Republican Party. We don’t have to play cute.”
However, Donald Trump said that the only thing he can do right now is to stay true to his principles and his policies that got him to where he is now: a good trading relationship with other nations, stronger borders, and also to make America great again.
Analysis by Seth Millstein for Bustle claimed that the feud has much bigger significance that a mere endorsement. In fact, the mainstream Republicans (said to be represented by Paul Ryan) may still be stewing over an outsider like Donald Trump, who doesn’t toe the party line, being the presidential nominee for the GOP. Ultimately, the chasm between Trump and his party adversaries may be too great to surmount even as the primary draws to a close.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]