During the past couple of months we have seen more and more well known establishment Republicans like Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Bill Kristol, proclaim their refusal to support Donald Trump if he were to secure the GOP presidential nomination. Now that Trump has done just that, political pundits from every news site, cable channel, and talk radio show seem all but obsessed with revealing the next Republican mainstay who will give the cold shoulder to Trump, and may even commit conservative blasphemy by voting for Hillary Clinton.
Almost daily, we hear another report of lifelong Republicans jumping the sinking ship that was once “The Grand Old Party”. Whether it be both George Bush Junior and Senior opting out of even attending this year’s Republican National Convention, or the mysterious reappearance of Mitt Romney as Republican leadership speaks of running Mitt on a second ballot in only hushed hopeful whispers, as if he was the Republican version of Batman who has come to save Gotham from burning to the ground.
In an interview on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper this week, the newly magnanimous Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, spoke on his thoughts about the explosive and unpredictable Trump and whether he will be supporting him as the GOP nominee. Ryan spoke candidly, stating, “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now,”, and went on to say,
I think he needs to do more to unify this party, saying we’re unified doesn’t in and of itself unify us. It’s time to set aside bullying, set aside belittlement and appeal to higher aspirations,
A reasonable, perhaps even too reasonable perspective for someone so high up the GOP food chain.
Ryan has also been going through a personal transformation as of late, concerning his role in the party and the overall tone and tactics of the GOP as they once again look for ways to expand their base and become the big tent party their hero Ronald Reagan strived for. In closing, Ryan told Jake Tapper,
The bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee, I don’t want to underplay what he accomplished. … But he also inherits something very special, that’s very special to a lot of us. This is the party of Lincoln and Reagan and Jack Kemp. And we don’t always nominate a Lincoln or a Reagan every four years, but we hope that our nominee aspires to be Lincoln- or Reagan-esque — that that person advances the principles of our party and appeals to a wide, vast majority of Americans.
It is unclear if Ryan will eventually support Trump, a man so antithetical to the very ideas and tenets of conservative idealism, or if he will hold firm and freeze Trump out should he somehow take the White House, creating even more division and gridlock. Let’s hope it is a question America will never have to answer.
Watch Paul Ryan speak about Trump here:
Featured image via video screen capture