"We don't want another Democrat in the White House": Paul Ryan defends his endorsement of Trump in wake of Orlando shooting

"The last thing we want is a Democrat in the White House," Ryan said when pressed about why he still supports Trump

By Sophia Tesfaye

Published June 16, 2016 4:29PM (EDT)

Paul Ryan   (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)
Paul Ryan (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Donald Trump's proposed temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States and his attack on a federal judge as "inherently" impartial because of his Mexican heritage were apparently not egregiously offensive enough for House Speaker Paul Ryan to hold out his endorsement of his party's presumptive presidential nominee, so it comes as little surprise that Trump's latest deep dive into the world of conspiracy theories has hardly registered as a speed bump for Ryan on the road to the GOP convention in Cleveland.

"If he continues to say controversial things that draw your concerns, do you envision any scenario in which you would rescind your endorsement?" Ryan asked during his press conference on Thursday.

"That's not my plan," Ryan replied. "I don't have a plan to do that."

This, after the wannabe Birther-in-Chief escalated his attacks on President Obama in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, calling for his resignation and suggesting that he allowed the attack to occur because he is secretly a "Radical Islam" terrorist sympathizer.

"Look, we are just going to agree to disagree. that is just the way things work," Ryan explained of his continued support of Trump. "Mitt Romney and I didn't agree on everything," he continued. "What we do agree on is that we don't want another Democrat in the White House, I can tell you that."

"If I am asked a question about a proposal I don't agree, I am going to answer honestly," Ryan assured reporters.

"I'm going to be myself," Ryan said, vowing to defend conservative principles even against the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Ryan said he couldn't predict how often Trump would make such offensive statements, but he suggested he would stick by the controversial candidate's side for the sake of political expediency:

He's a different kind of candidate. This is a different kind of year. I'm going to be myself and speak up in defense of our principles and our country's principles. I do believe the last thing we want is a Democrat in the White House like Hillary Clinton.


Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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