In December, House Speaker Paul Ryan panned Donald Trump's proposal to deny entrance to the country of any Muslim, citing "the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of whom are peaceful, who believe in pluralism, freedom, democracy, individual rights." The media swooned., as it usually does for Ryan (Scott Pelley conned, below).
Since Trump became his party's presumptive presidential nominee, numerous Republicans have endorsed him while others thus far have resisted the urge. Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson is not amused at the reluctance of several prominent Republicans, especially the Speaker Paul, to fall in line immediately. Friday morning on CNN, Pierson argued "we were told to hold our noses and vote for the sake of the party. These same people are now telling us that because their guy didn't win, they want to hurt the party."
On Thursday, according to Charles Pierce, Ryan had told CNN's Jake Tapper
I'm just not ready to do that at this point. I'm not there right now…"I thought about this two days ago. I thought, actually, this thing was going to go to June 7 at the very least—probably to a convention—and so this is all pretty new for us. The bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee. I don't want to underplay what he accomplished. ... But he also inherits something very special, that's very special to a lot of us. This is the party of Lincoln and Reagan and Jack Kemp. And we don't always nominate a Lincoln or a Reagan every four years, but we hope that our nominee aspires to be Lincoln- or Reagan-esque—that that person advances the principles of our party and appeals to a wide, vast majority of Americans… And so, I think what is necessary to make this work, for this to unify, is to actually take our principles and advance them. And that's what we want to see. Saying we're unified doesn't in and of itself unify us, but actually taking the principles that we all believe in, showing that there's a dedication to those, and running a principled campaign that Republicans can be proud about and that can actually appeal to a majority of Americans—that, to me, is what it takes to unify this party.
Sean Hannity, who already has formally endorsed Trump, was more blunt than Pierson. Politico reported that he began a segment with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich by asking "I'm thinking maybe we need a new speaker. Thoughts?"
Yes, thoughts. Oddly enough, Donald Trump himself- of all people- put it into perspective when he said it was "really surprising" but that he is "fine with it." I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan's agenda," Trump added, a suble way of reminding Ryan that this door swings both ways and that the possible future President himself has a couple of cards to play.
There is no reason for concern, Sean. The operative term is "ready," not coincidntally used by both of these guys. Charlie Pierce translated Ryan's latest dance as "I'm going to come around on the vulgar talking yam, but I need a few weeks of completely undeserved approval to make sure my media-cultivated image as a serious person stays nice and shiny."
This will be a classic case of "evolving," without the Speaker using the term the dreaded Obama used when the President came around on the issue of same-sex marriage. He will endorse the fellow who said John McCain is no war hero, vividly mocked a disabled reporter, bragged on national television about the size of his genitals. threatened to abolish freedom of the press, and suggested Rafael Cruz was in on the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. And he will con the media into applauding him for being both the quintessential Person of Reason and loyal party man.