On Thursday, it was reported that House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would vote for Donald Trump, his party's presumptive nominee. According to a tweet from CNN's Manu Raju, Ryan said he has been assured by Trump that he "would turn House GOP ideas into laws." The highest-ranking Republican in Congress announced his decision to back the reality TV star for president in a tweet with a link to an op-ed he wrote for his hometown Janesville Gazette.
In his op-ed, Ryan explained, "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." However, he especially played up the power of a Republican-led House of Representatives — and how important it was to have a president that supported their polices. "The House policy agenda has been the main focus of our dialogue," Ryan wrote. At another point in his op-ed, he stressed how important it was to him and his GOP colleagues to have a president who would OK their wish-list of legislation: "The concept from the start was simple: If we had a Republican president ready to sign bills into law, what would we do?"
Unsurprisingly, Ryan pointedly emphasized Trump was (at least) better than having Hillary Clinton lead the country. "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," Ryan wrote.
The House Speaker was one of the last members of the so-called Republican Establishment to hold out on Trump. In May, Ryan told CNN's Jake Tapper he "was just not ready" to back Trump, sending shockwaves across the country and earning cheers from many for his bold act of party defiance. Expressing concern about his party's presumptive presidential nominee in a televised interview was jaw-dropping for Beltway politics.
However, Ryan showed increasing signs of warming up to Trump. The two met days after Ryan's initial declaration in a meeting overseen by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. While Ryan declined to endorse Trump then, the two released a joint statement calling the meeting a "very positive step toward unification."
Ryan admitted in his essay that he and Trump had their "differences" and finished by playing up all that House Republicans could do with a GOP president — who happens to be Trump. "House Republicans are helping shape that Republican vision by offering a bold policy agenda, by offering a better way ahead. Donald Trump can help us make it a reality."
Image: Bustle/Caroline Wurtzel