Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spoke out against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday when reporters pressed him on remarks Trump has been making for a week, describing Trump’s attacks on a federal judge as “textbook racist” comments. Despite clearly recognizing Trump’s overt racism, Ryan still plans to support Trump in his bid to become president in November. A cynical person might get the idea that Paul Ryan doesn’t care that much about racism.
If they did, they wouldn’t be alone. When Donald Trump descended that escalator on June 17, 2015 to declare that Mexican Rapists are invading our country, Republicans like Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz continued to praise Trump, while others like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said they understood Trump’s “frustration” with all those Mexican Rapists. But Paul Ryan was building to something. Finally, on July 1, two weeks after Donald Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists, Ryan was ready to say that Donald Trump didn’t speak for him. Tellingly, though, it wasn’t about Trump’s already-overt racism:
MR. RYAN: Well, let me just say he doesn’t speak for me. (smarmy laugh)
Ryan wasn’t bothered by the Mexican rapist comments, he was offended that Trump said he didn’t want to cut Social Security. That’s the first part of Trump’s Mexican Rapists speech that Paul Ryan felt compelled to weigh in on.
It wasn’t until a week later that someone apologetically forced Ryan to comment on Trump’s rhetoric, and Ryan really let Trump have it:
He doesn’t speak for the Republican Party, and I think his comments were extremely disrespectful, and I don’t think that’s the way to have an immigration conversation.
Well, two out of three ain’t bad. Even at that late date, more than three weeks later, Ryan was one of the first Republicans who dared say anything negative about Trump’s comments, and a year later, Trump does speak for the Republican Party, the same Republican Party that nurtured and grew the resentments that fed his voracious base, and refused to stand up to him when it mattered. They can all kindly shut the hell up now. We’ve got this.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.