It is only a difference in policy when House Speaker Paul Ryan says at a press conference "I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country's interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party, but as a country. And I think the smarter way to go in all respects is to have a security test, not a religious test."
There already is a security test. Syrian refugees undergo a screening review, usually lasting 18-24 months, more extensive than for individuals from any other country. But Paul Ryan never has been one to let facts get in the way of right-wing messaging.
Earlier this month, after Donald Trump contended he wouldn't get a fair shake in the Trump University case from Gonzalo Curiel, a native of Indiana, USA, because the Judge is "Mexican," Ryan maintained "I disavow these comments. Claiming a person can’t do the job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable." Later in an interview, Ryan added "Hopefully this is an inflection point. Hopefully a lesson will be learned here.”
Ryan refused to rescind the endorsement of Trump he had offered the week before. That which was unacceptable became acceptable and the lesson learned is that Paul Ryan is a paper tiger.
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Thursday, Ryan remarked "I hope he improves the tone of the campaign. But I made my decision as the speaker of the House and a leader in our party, based upon the belief that I did not want to be a party toward ripping our party in half, and basically denying us the White House and harming us in securing our majority again."
As to his critics, the Wisconsin Republican
would just simply remind people that as the speaker of the House, I don't think it's ever been done before where the speaker has not supported the party's nominee who was selected by the voters, the Republican voters, to be the nominee ... didn't want to be a leader of guaranteeing that our party is disunified in the fall.
Of course not. But this also has never "been done": a Speaker of the House accuses a presidential candidate of making a racist statement, asks him in vain to disavow the statement, then reiterates his support for the candidate.
The trite line is "you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts." Paul Ryan is entitled to claim that he himself is not a racist or that he is not a hypocrite. He cannot, however, claim both.