Wait, wasn’t Paul Ryan going to support Donald Trump to ‘unite the party’? This doesn’t sound like it.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan struggled on Tuesday to justify his endorsement of Donald Trump just five days ago, telling reporters that the Republican presidential candidate’s recent criticism of a Hispanic judge ‘is sort of like a textbook definition of a racist comment.’
Ryan said he would ‘not attempt to try and defend the indefensible,’ but insisted that sending Hillary Clinton to the White House is not ‘the answer’ to a growing divide between the Trump campaign and centrist lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Minutes later, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Trump, whom he also has endorsed, is not prejudiced.
‘Donald Trump is not a racist. The allegations that he is are absolutely contrary to any experience I’ve had with him,’ Christie told a gaggle of journalists in the Garden State hamlet of Mendham Township.
‘Congressman Ryan is entitled to his opinion,’ Christie added, telling reporters after he voted in New Jersey’s Republican primary that the Trump-Curiel ‘judge kerfuffle’ shouldn’t distract the GOP.
‘What matters here is winning or losing,’ he said.
Ryan said in Washington that the ‘mature and responsible thing’ would be for Trump to disavow comments he has made about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing a fraud lawsuit related to a defunct series of real estate seminars the billionaire owns.
The House speaker spoke outside a DC-based charity called ‘House of Help City of Hope’ where he unveiled a Republican initiative to combat poverty.
Beginning on May 27 during a speech in San Diego, California – the city where Curiel hears cases in federal court – Trump has accused the him of being incapable of judging him fairly because he is of Mexican descent and Trump plans to wall off Mexico from the U.S. if he’s president.