Paul Ryan Dodges The Donald Trump Question, With A Caveat
After the meeting with his party's presumptive nominee on Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan gave a press conference. While Ryan said he was "encouraged by what [he] heard from Donald Trump today," when asked if he was endorsing Trump, he said it "takes some time." The highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives made it clear he was still "not ready" to give his endorsement to Trump, even though he made several efforts to put a rosy spin on the meeting.
"This was our first meeting," Ryan said. "But this is a process. It takes a little time. You don't put it together in 45 minutes." He added: "It's important we don't fake unification ... so we are full-strength in the fall." Though he didn't declare outright, unwavering support, Ryan did make it clear that he's willing to acknowledge Trump's accomplishments and speak of him in flattering, party-unifying language: “He has gotten more votes than any Republican primary nominee in the history of our country, and this isn’t even over yet,” Ryan said. Heck, Ryan even said that Trump is "a very warm and genuine person."
The Speaker of the House also played up their main commonality: making sure that another Democrat does not make it to the White House. During the press conference, Ryan said that seven out of 10 Americans believe the country is on the wrong track under its current administration. The main push for unification was keeping Hillary Clinton from the presidency, and Ryan made it seem like all the specific policy differences between him (i.e. the Republican establishment) and Trump were relatively minor compared to this goal. “Our policy teams are meeting to just walk through the details,” Ryan emphasized. “Again this is a process … going forward we’re going to go a little deeper into the policy weeds.”
So essentially, it sounds like the two didn't agree on anything concrete or immediately actionable, just good will, so it's not clear how "encouraged" the party should be. Then again, for the GOP at this juncture, it's certainly a start.