House Speaker Paul Ryan stated today that Donald Trump’s recent comments regarding Judge Gonzalo Curiel are both “racist” and “indefensible,” but Ryan reiterated that he still thinks Republicans should vote for Trump this November.
Just days after Speaker Paul Ryan formally endorsed former rival Donald Trump, the House Speaker was taken aback by Trump’s recent “racist” statements regarding a federal judge’s Hispanic heritage. Ryan was quick to repudiate Trump’s statements, lashing out at the Republican nominee, reports the Washington Post.
“Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. It’s totally unacceptable,” said Speaker Paul Ryan.
Paul Ryan joined a growing coalition of Republican leaders rebuking Donald Trump for his “racist” and “indefensible” comments, but despite the consensus among Republican leaders – that Trump’s comments were absolutely racist, insensitive, and according to at least one leader, “un-American” – Speaker Ryan went on to state that he still feels like Trump is a better choice than Hillary Clinton.
“Do I believe Hillary Clinton is the answer? No I do not. I believe that we have more common ground on policy issues of today, and we have more likelihood of getting our policies enacted with [Trump] than we do with [Clinton],” said Speaker Paul Ryan.
Last week, Donald Trump infamously stated that federal judge Gonzalo Curiel could not be impartial in the Trump University lawsuit because he is “a Mexican,” despite being born in Indiana. Trump’s assertion wasn’t, as some of his previous statements have been, a slip of the tongue from which the candidate quickly backed off. This one Trump hammered home again and again. Speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Trump reiterated the attack over and over again, stating that he does not believe that a judge can fairly oversee a case against him if that judge is of Mexican descent.
Trump went on to state he feels the same way about Muslim judges, furthering the divide between himself and Republican Party leaders who have come out and condemned Trump’s rhetoric in recent days, reports ABC News.
Speaker Paul Ryan has had a hard time supporting Donald Trump in the past, precisely because of statements like those made against federal judge Gonzalo Curiel. Ryan himself admits that he disagrees with the Republican nominee on a great many issues, and last week’s “racist” comments haven’t made it any easier to overcome the divide between the two Republican leaders.
“I don’t know what’s in his heart. I do think these kinds of comments undercut these things. I’m not even going to pretend to defend them. I’m going to defend our ideas,” said Paul Ryan.
Trump ally and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stood by the Republican nominee, taking the podium just moments after Paul Ryan laid into Donald Trump for his comments on Judge Curiel.
“I know Donald Trump. I’ve known him for 14 years, and Donald Trump is not a racist. I believe there’s more than just words to define a person, and by the way, a side from words, there’s a whole lot more to define everyone, but you can easily argue that the President of the United States is a racist with his policies and rhetoric,” said Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie went on to suggest that Paul Ryan is “entitled to his opinion,” but he made it clear that he will continue to support Trump regardless of any criticism from the Republican leadership.
“I’m saying that we all can up our game with rhetoric and policy, because America, we are a nation of immigrants, we are a melting pot. I’m from New York, and New York is a melting pot. We can all do so much better,” said Gov. Chris Christie.
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]