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Paul Ryan Says ‘Of Course I Will’ Support Trump as Nominee, But What About Cruz?

One of the many great sidelines to the current Donald Trump-dominated Republican primary has been the hilarious spectacle of Republican candidates being asked if they will support Donald Trump when he wins the nomination, and those candidates responding as if they won’t get dessert if they don’t say they love broccoli. Trump has pledged not to run as an independent, but all bets are off if Republicans don’t treat him “fairly,” so a negative response would give Trump the cover he needs to break that pledge.

Sunday’s Face the Nation offered a somewhat different twist on that scenario, though. During an extensive two-part interview, Speaker Paul Ryan was asked the question, and responded rather emphatically that he would support a Trump ticket. Despite having ostentatiously blasted Trump for his proposed ban on Muslims, Ryan didn’t hesitate when John Dickerson asked him about Trump. When Dickerson immediately followed up by asking about Cruz, though, Ryan’s barely-audible response was markedly less enthusiastic:

DICKERSON: Will you support Donald Trump if he is the nominee?

RYAN: Yeah, I’ll support him — of course I will.

DICKERSON: And will you support Ted Cruz if he’s the nominee?

RYAN: (sounding as if he’s being asked if he would enjoy listening to some of his blind date’s vegan slam poetry) Yes.

As heinous and not “what this country is about” as Donald Trump is, he hasn’t generated the deep well of ill feeling that Cruz has in Washington, particularly among House leaders who haven’t appreciated Cruz’s meddling on some of their key votes. Ryan’s reaction here is a priceless reminder of that.

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