On yesterday’s “Off Message” podcast with Glenn Thrush, Paul Ryan quashed any idea that his endorsement of Trump is inevitable, or that it will come any time soon. Although Ryan has not been as bombastic as Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse and has not ruled out the possibility of eventually endorsing Trump, he clearly feels that he has a moral and philosophical problem with teaming up with Trump as his campaign is currently being run.
The audio of the full interview is here:
Ryan, who made peace with Trump earlier this month but remains wait-and-see on the question of whether to endorse the presumptive GOP nominee, sees his 2016 job as ensuring that the party doesn’t become a Cult of Trump — he wants to replace id with ideas.
The sooner Trump gets it, the quicker he’ll jump on the unity bus, a relaxed but adamant Ryan suggested during a 45-minute interview last week for POLITICO’s “Off Message” podcast.
“When people go to the polls in November, they are not just picking a person … they’re also picking a path,” said Ryan, who spoke repeatedly of unity with the front-runner — while refusing to bet on a Trump victory this fall.
“I think this is a ‘we,’ not just one person,” he added. “I very much believe in a type and style of politics that may not be in vogue today but, I still think, nevertheless, is the right kind of politics.”
It was that core belief, he says, more than any rank political calculation, that led Ryan to say he was “just not ready” to back Trump in a shocker of a CNN interview on May 6. Standing in front of an idyllic waterfall, Ryan said he wanted to see “a standard-bearer that bears our standards” and called on Trump to rein in his worst impulses if he wanted his support.
For having the temerity to insist on principles and on holding Trump’s feet to the fire, ideologically speaking, Ryan is now facing the threat of a primary challenge from the same people who relentlessly mocked the liberals’ cult of personality when it came to Obama – people like Ann Coulter, for instance.
It turns out, those people were mostly not so much opposed to a cult of personality as they were to a President who didn’t share their disdain of the brown people invading Connecticut – which has been a sad, but necessary, revelation.