House Speaker Paul Ryan will endorse presumptive Republican nominee Donald J. Trump in coming days, according to two reports. Late Tuesday night, Bloomberg News reported that Ryan has taken moves to end his standoff with Trump. On Wednesday morning, Trump campaign sources told ABC News that Ryan will be endorsing The Donald. Later, however, Ryan’s staff circulated a memo denying the allegations.
Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, told a small group of Republican congressmen last Thursday that he expects Ryan to endorse The Donald as early as this week. It is unclear how soon the announcement of support will come, but ABC News reported that Ryan has a briefing on the House GOP agenda later on Wednesday.
But Politico‘s Jake Sherman shared an internal memo from Ryan’s staff denying the reported endorsement.
SCOOP – @BrendanBuck sends INTERNAL MEMO saying no “imminent political news from Paul.” He said reports of endorsement = bad reporting.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 25, 2016
The actual memo proved rather short. “Hey folks — just an FYI that reports this morning of imminent political news from Paul are not true,” wrote Brendan Buck, an aide to the House speaker. “Just bad reporting. Carry on, and happy Wednesday.”
AshLee Strong, a Ryan spokeswoman, said, “There’s no update and we’ve not told the Trump campaign to expect an endorsement.”
Ryan has clashed with Trump on many issues in the past. In early December, when The Donald first proposed his shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, the House speaker responded harshly, declaring, “This is not conservatism.” Perhaps ironically, exit polls in state after state showed Republican voters back the measure!
Nevertheless, when speculation ran rife that a contested convention might pick the House speaker, Ryan flatly declared, “I do not want, nor will I accept, the nomination for our party.” This may have been a rather smart move, considering nearly half of GOP voters say they hate the House speaker, and Ryan may face a primary challenge this cycle.
In early May, despite Trump knocking out his two final competitors, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, Ryan declared that he was not ready to endorse The Donald. Trump, not to be outdone, said he was not ready to endorse Ryan’s agenda.
If Ryan does actually warm to Trump, that would confirm a prediction — made by Dr. Phil! Dr. Phil McGraw told PJ Media earlier this month that he was “confident” Ryan and Trump “will find some sort of alignment of causes” at their meeting on Capitol Hill.
After that sit-down on May 12, the two issued a joint statement, declaring their confidence that “there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2016
The meeting was great. It was a very positive step toward party unity.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 12, 2016
Next Page: Is division more likely on the Democratic side?
Nevertheless, even this week, Ryan said he would not bet on Trump winning the general election this November. When asked if Trump is a conservative, he dodged the question. Ryan also emphasized that he will not hesitate to be openly critical of the presumptive nominee.
The Bloomberg News report suggests a change of tune. The House speaker started telling confidants that he wants to end the standoff with The Donald, due to worries about the sharp divisions within the GOP. Ending the standoff would not necessarily be the same thing as endorsing Trump, something Ryan still officially says is off the table.
In his remarks to PJ Media, Dr. Phil also mentioned that the Democratic Party needs to come together — in the persons of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. “Hopefully both sides can come up with some type of an agenda they can find alignment on so we can get on with this election and get on with the business of running the country,” McGraw said.
This seems even less likely on the Democratic side. Sanders recently vowed to fight on until the Democratic National Convention in July. He even called on Clinton’s superdelegates to support him, citing his wins over Hillary in key states. Perhaps ironically, it is not the party of Trump headed toward a contested convention, but the party of Her Majesty, Hillary Clinton.