News & Politics

Trump 'Not Quite There Yet' on Supporting Ryan or McCain in Primaries

Happy, happy times.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is refusing to back House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in his upcoming primary election, saying in an interview Tuesday that he is “not quite there yet” in endorsing his party’s top-ranking elected official.

Trump also said he was not supporting Sen. John McCain in his primary in Arizona, and he singled out Sen. Kelly Ayotte as a weak and disloyal leader in New Hampshire, a state whose presidential primary Trump won handily.

With Ryan’s Wisconsin primary scheduled for next Tuesday, Trump praised the House speaker’s underdog opponent, Paul Nehlen, for running “a very good campaign.” Trump said that Ryan has sought his endorsement, but that as of now he is only “giving it very serious consideration.”

“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” Trump said. “We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”

Trump’s refusal to back Ryan represents an extraordinary breach of political decorum and signals that the Republican Party remains divided two weeks after a national convention in Cleveland staged to showcase party unity.

It’s not a stretch to think that Reince Priebus and everyone else at the RNC is now washing their Tums down with moonshine. After the party did its best North Korean propaganda video effort to create a big, happy, Kumbaya portrait during the convention, Trump has basically been running around saying, “Party? We don’t need no stinking party!”

Whatever advantage there was to be pressed thanks to the very angry Bernie Sanders supporters after the DNC has been swallowed whole by Trump’s perpetually open maw. Maybe the media doesn’t complain about Hillary not doing press conferences because Trump never shuts up long enough to let them.

Let me be clear: I do think there is a double standard employed by the media in cases like this, and I think they have been pretty ridiculous about how they treated Pat Smith versus how they’ve treated the Khans. The Khans haven’t seemed to eager to remove themselves from the spotlight either.

None of that means that Trump had to aid and abet them in keeping the story afloat. Don’t feed the trolls, in other words. The MSM knows how to bait Trump, and he is all too often willing to make sure the hook sticks awhile.

Honestly, watching Trump and Maverick go at it has a lot of upside. Nothing would make me happier than to see McCain gone from the Senate. I was a supporter of his a long time ago when I still lived in Arizona, but that was before he became yet another useless favor-hoarder hanging around the Senate far too long. The fact that his Khan brouhaha has them squabbling doesn’t break my heart.

I also derive some small satisfaction watching the GOPers who grudgingly supported Trump being forced to squirm for their unfortunate choice. This is going to get so much worse before it gets better, if it ever does. The Republican Party allowed this entire scenario to become a reality, now it’s in “you broke it, you bought it” mode.

My biggest concern about this election is that both candidates are petty and vindictive on a scale that makes Barack Obama look like a thick-skinned pushover. Neither seems to be in a hurry to disprove that.