Less than a week after saying he would vote for Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan joined other Republicans in an extraordinary public rebuke of their party’s likely nominee for President, as the Speaker denounced Trump’s attacks on a federal judge handling a lawsuit against Trump University.
“I am not going to defend these kinds of comments, because they are indefensible,” as Ryan said it was wrong for Trump to have claimed bias as he raised the issue of the Mexican heritage of Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
“Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like a textbook definition of a racist comment,” Ryan told reporters.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable,” Ryan added – as he made clear Trump was still a better choice than Hillary Clinton.
“But do I believe that Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not,” as Ryan again said Trump as President would at least present an opening for GOP policy concerns.
Still, it was obvious that Ryan was not pleased, though the Speaker wasn’t backing off a vote for Trump.
“I do absolutely disavow those comments; I think they’re wrong. I don’t think they’re right headed, and the thinking behind it is something that I don’t even personally relate to,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s comments came as he joined other leading House Republicans in unveiling a new GOP agenda on poverty – but it was obvious that those types of nuts and bolts issues will get far less attention than what is said by Donald Trump.