Top House Republicans Speak Out Against Paul Ryan: “I Don’t Understand What He’s Thinking”
On Thursday Republican Speaker Paul Ryan told Jake Tapper on CNN he was “not ready” to endorse Donald Trump yet.
Today top Republicans in the House of Representatives spoke out against Paul Ryan. They believe Speaker Ryan is in denial about voter sentiment.
Ryan should listen to them.
The Politico reported:
Two prominent House allies of Paul Ryan broke with the speaker Friday over his decision to withhold support from Donald Trump, comments that point to a growing split among congressional Republicans over how to deal with the presumptive nominee.
Reps. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia and Dennis Ross of Florida — who, as House whips, help Republican leaders muster support to pass legislation — told POLITICO in interviews on Friday that they disagreed with Ryan’s decision to break with Trump in a bombshell interview a day earlier. Both lawmakers said they believe their leader is in denial about how Republican voters feel about the real-estate tycoon.
“I honestly don’t understand what Paul’s thinking — I don’t get it,” said Westmoreland, who is retiring after this year. “I try not to give advice to the speaker, but I think it just really brought about, in my opinion, even more confusion to this thing.”
“Trust me, I haven’t been on the Donald Trump bandwagon, but I will support him, and I disagree with Ryan’s comment,” Ross said. “I think it’s time we unite (and) … extend an olive branch and start working this out.”
The sharp rebuke from two senior, longtime GOP leadership allies is a rare sight in the House…
Westmoreland, however, said Ryan’s remarks just make it hard for everyone to get on the same page. The Georgia lawmaker has been trying to convince his conservative friends that they have a choice: embrace Trump now, or roll out the red carpet for a President Hillary Clinton. Ryan’s comments essentially blessed a third option — hold out for now — that Westmoreland believes is poor politics.
Westmoreland wishes Ryan had been more subtle. “He could have come out and said, ‘Look, I’ll be 100 percent behind whomever comes out of our convention,’ and that would have been a simple way of saying: ‘I’m not endorsing Trump right now,’” he said.
Ross said it’s hard to take a stand like Ryan’s when 45 percent of Republicans in his district voted for Trump. That’s his predicament right now.
“I’m listening: They’re fed up with Washington politicians,” he said. “And unfortunately I think there are some in my party who don’t get what is happening.”
…Contrast that with another vulnerable Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers, whose North Carolina seat is being challenged by a candidate to her right. She told POLITICO earlier this week that Donald Trumpmania has “opened my eyes.”
“I had spent a lot of time listening to the voters and their concerns and how they felt about Donald Trump, and it really opened my eyes and made me realize that Donald Trump is having a conversation with the American people that many of us, especially us Republicans, have absolutely missed for years and years,” Ellmers said. “We in the Republican Party have talked about how we need to bring more people into the party, do a better job increasing votes and connecting to the American people, and here’s Donald Trump doing it and yet there are many in Washington who are kind of rejecting that.”