Donald Trump’s campaign has brought about a substantial divide within the Republican Party, as some conservatives see Trump as the future of the GOP, while others see him as the downfall of their party. Reputable conservative leaders, such as Mitt Romney and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, have aggressively spoken out against Trump, claiming that he would be an utter disaster for this country on several fronts. Among the ranks of those who opposed Trump as the nominee was House Speaker Paul Ryan, who claimed that Trump did not represent the conservative values espoused by the GOP and thus he could not endorse, or even vote for, the presumptive Republican nominee.
Last month, Ryan spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper about Trump’s candidacy. When asked if he would support Trump, Ryan shocked the media by saying that he could not do so. “At this point I’m just not there right now,” said Ryan. “We have work to do. As a lifelong conservative, I want to see our party unify.” Many felt that this was a dangerous move for Ryan, as he was alienating a significant portion of the Republican Party that supported Trump as the nominee.
After this announcement, Ryan met with Donald Trump to discuss policy matters and the future of the Republican Party, which many assume was in response to the countless attacks he received from Republican colleagues regarding support for the party. After their meeting, Ryan still did not endorse or offer any support for Trump, but he did seem more open to the nominee. “We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal.”
Just weeks later, Ryan has announced that he will, in fact, be voting for Trump come November. “Through these conversations, I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives. That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall.” His team made if very clear that this was an announcement about a vote and not an endorsement, despite the media frenzy to claim it was such.
This support from Ryan may help Trump garner votes from Establishment Republican constituents who have, up until this point, been hesitant to support a candidate that not even the House Speaker can accept.
What do you think about Ryan’s announcement?