Two of the Republican Party’s top voices were against each other on Thursday as Speaker Paul Ryan said that he does not currently support Donald Trump as the party’s nominee. “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now,” Ryan said on CNN’s The Lead. He told anchor Jake Tapper that it is Trump’s “burden” to unify “all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement.”
Ryan also said that Trump needs to develop a campaign that can appeal to a wide group of Americans.
Trump released an uncharacteristically reserved statement saying, “I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda. Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people.”
Speaker Ryan has laid out his own policy proposals and platform and has intended to pass that legislation and for it to supplement the nominee’s platform. Some of Ryan’s positions are at odds with Trump, especially regarding immigration and trade. Ryan has also criticized some of Trump’s proposals, including banning Muslim immigration.
Ryan’s statement comes as high-level Republicans come out against Trump’s nomination. Presidents Bush 41 and 43 and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney have all said that they do not endorse the run and will not attend the convention in Cleveland.
Ryan, however, will be at the convention. He will be the presiding officer for the ceremonies as the convention uses the same rules as the House. The current House leader or Speaker typically serves as the presiding officer for the Republican convention.
Ryan’s position also provides cover to the other House Republican members who may be hurt by Trump at the top of the ticket. Senator John McCain was caught on tape saying that Trump’s nomination would cause his re-election bid to be a struggle. Ryan as Speaker has a clear motive in wanting the Republicans to hold the House and Trump could cause damage down-ticket.
Speaking on CNN’s The Situation Room later that day, Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer said that the two would work out their issues and said that they will be meeting, after being connected by RNC Chair Reince Priebus.