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House Speaker Ryan 'Not Ready' to Endorse Trump

  • VOA News

House Speaker Paul Ryan joins Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, left, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., center, at a campaign rally for Johnson in Burlington, Wisconsin, May 5, 2016.

House Speaker Paul Ryan joins Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, left, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., center, at a campaign rally for Johnson in Burlington, Wisconsin, May 5, 2016.

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump may have garnered enough votes in the primaries to become the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee but he can't seem to transfer that enthusiasm from the voting booth to the party leadership.

The highest-ranking Republican office holder, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he is "not ready" to support Trump as the nominee. Ryan previously criticized Trump for saying that if he did not win the nomination, his supporters might riot at the Republican National Convention in July.

"I hope to support our nominee, I hope to support his candidacy fully," Ryan said on CNN. "At this point, I'm just not there right now."

To which, Trump responded: "I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan's agenda. Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people."

According to the Wall Street Journal, only 12 of the 300 Republicans serving in the House and Senate, and three of the 31 Republican governors, have endorsed the New York businessman.

FILE - Former President George W. Bush, right, talks with his father, former President George H.W. Bush, during the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, April 25, 2013. Father and son say they will not be endorsing Donald Trump'

FILE - Former President George W. Bush, right, talks with his father, former President George H.W. Bush, during the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, April 25, 2013. Father and son say they will not be endorsing Donald Trump'

The party's last two White House occupants, President George H.W. Bush and his son, President George W. Bush, say they will sit out the 2016 campaign and not even comment on it.

The party's last two losing presidential nominees, Arizona Senator John McCain in 2008 and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in 2012, both said they, like the Bushes, also plan to skip the party's July national convention where Trump will be officially nominated.

Other Republican heavyweights are going even farther than Ryan and the Bushes.

Mark Salter, an adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said on Twitter that he would rather vote for Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump. Conservative pundit Ben Howe did the same.

Another longstanding Trump critic, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, said on Twitter: “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed … and we will deserve it.”

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