Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday June 9, 2016
Paul Ryan stresses party unity in GOP meeting
House Speaker Paul Ryan reiterated his support Wednesday for Donald Trump at a closed door meeting with House Republicans and asked his colleagues to unite behind the presumptive Republican nominee, according to several members who attended the session.
Ryan’s backing of Trump comes a day after he blasted the businessman’s remarks about a federal judge as a “textbook definition of a racist comment.”
Trumps comments have sparked a fury on Capitol Hill where many Republicans worry that Trump’s racially tinged criticism of Judge Gonzalo Curiel could ultimately hurt down-ballot GOP candidates competing in congressional races this year.
Though Ryan didn’t back away from his endorsement, he said he would continue to speak out when he believed the billionaire businessman makes inappropriate statements.
Ryan spokesman said the speaker did not “urge” the party to fall in line behind Trump but stressed the importance of unity.
Ryan “just reaffirmed his disagreement with the comment, respecting that the people have elected Donald Trump as our Republican nominee and what we’re going to do is we’re going to use our position in a positive way to help America out,” said Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.
Trump tried to quell some of the outrage on Tuesday, releasing a statement saying his past remarks had been misconstrued, and Trump avoided the topic all together during a speech he gave later that evening.
Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative group in Congress, said Trump needs to “quit spending time bashing judges.” He will vote for Trump, he said, but, “I don’t endorse people that bash judges — based on his ethnic heritage.” (Source: CNN)