Paul Ryan officially bends the knee and endorses Donald Trump

GazetteXtra – When Donald Trump became the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for president one month ago, many Republicans like me faced a big question.

Six months earlier, in October, as I was taking the job as House speaker, my colleagues and I were discussing an equally important question: What could House Republicans do to give Americans a clear choice about the future of the country?

Sure, count us among the majority of Americans upset with the direction our country is headed. But that’s not enough. We agreed that we must focus less on what we’re against and more on what we’re for. So, long before we knew who our nominee would be, we decided we would present the country a policy agenda that offers a better way forward. We know what we believe in, so let’s bring it to the country.

That’s how I’ve always looked at it. I’ve spent most of my adult life pursuing ways to help protect the “American Idea”—the notion that the condition of one’s birth does not determine the outcome of one’s life. The first step is always putting it on paper and having a real debate. And with the Obama presidency nearing an end, we have a real opportunity to get big things done the next four years.

One person who we know won’t support it is Hillary Clinton. A Clinton White House would mean four more years of liberal cronyism and a government more out for itself than the people it serves. Quite simply, she represents all that our agenda aims to fix.

Donald Trump and I have talked at great length about things such as the proper role of the executive and fundamental principles such as the protection of life. The list of potential Supreme Court nominees he released after our first meeting was very encouraging.

Through these conversations, I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives. That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall. 

 

Not surprising in the least, especially since the news leaked the other day that Paul Ryan would endorse Donald Trump, but now it’s official. This Op-Ed he wrote in his hometown paper (nice move in my opinion) seems very reasonable from one of the heads of the Republican Party.

Essentially, he, like most of us, did not know what to actually make of Donald Trump and his candidacy. It would have been a no brainer to have endorsed any of the other candidates had they won the primary, as they all were basically your cut-of-the-mold modern conservative, just having different backgrounds and experience. Their policies all fit within mainstream Republican Orthodoxy, or  took reasonable differences on ideas, such as Rand Paul’s foreign policy stance being more doveish than what the Republicans usually stand for. At least that can be articulated logically.

With Trump, you got a bulldozer to the headquarters of Republican orthodoxy. In an age where everything is recorded and can be played back to millions in an instant, Trump’s brand of brash braggadocio and beratement threw conventional politicking right out the window. That, coupled with Trump’s mixing of conservative and off-base policies meant that leaders like Paul Ryan were rightfully apprehensive to quickly endorse Trump. It’s one thing for one-issue people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona (build the wall), Sarah Palin (beat back Russia, I can see them from my house don’t ya know), or Bobby Knight (make basketball great again?) to endorse Trump freely. Important politicians? Not so much.

But it seems like Trump has worked his charm, again. Between their conversations, Trump and Ryan have discussed and seemingly have come to an agreement on the roles of the executive and legislative branches of government. This statement summarizes it well:

But the House policy agenda has been the main focus of our dialogue. We’ve talked about the common ground this agenda can represent. We’ve discussed how the House can be a driver of policy ideas. We’ve talked about how important these reforms are to saving our country. And we’ve talked about how, by focusing on issues that unite Republicans, we can work together to heal the fissures developed through the primary.

A president Trump would have his own policy ideas, which he would advocate for using his usual mastery of branding. He will also champion other conservative ideas born out of the House and Senate using those same branding skills. As a negotiator, I’m sure Trump would be willing to work towards amicable solutions towards differences in policy with Paul Ryan. His campaign persona of being a loud dictator is not 100% accurate, at least by my estimate. He knows how deals and negotiations work (I mean, he wrote the book on it), and knows that sometimes you can’t get exactly what you want. Paul Ryan is an intelligent man, and will be able to articulate differences in policy to Trump and work towards a good middle ground. The presidency won’t be used as a bullypit against his own party.

I think that Paul Ryan has seen that too after his conversations with Trump, and has decided to endorse him because of that. At least with Trump, you get a Republican president you can work with. With Hillary, it would be 4 more years of the same obstructionism against liberal policies that we’ve seen for the past 8 years under President Obama. No one wants 4 more years of nothing getting done. That, and Supreme Court picks are on the line too.

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