Paul Ryan: ‘I Disavow’ Trump’s Comments; ‘Textbook Definition of a Racist Comment’

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), speaks during a visit with residents at the Graceview Apartments, June 7, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Washington, DC

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan says he “fundamentally disagrees” with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s comment about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, calling it “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”

“I disavow these comments. I regret these comments that he made,” Ryan stated during a press conference Tuesday morning. “Claiming a person can’t do a job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable, but do I believe that Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not.”

“I don’t think they’re right headed,” Ryan added about Trump’s statement suggesting Curiel is biased in overseeing a fraud case against Trump University because of his Mexican heritage.

“I just fundamentally disagree with that,” Ryan added, responding to a reporter’s question. “I think it’s wrong. The way I look at this is, if you say something that’s wrong, I think the mature, responsible thing is to acknowledge it was wrong.”

“Does his campaign need help? Does he need better people around him?” a reporter shouted.

“I’m not going to comment on that,” Ryan responded.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was asked about Trump’s comments and about Trump University following Ryan’s press conference.

“Congressman Ryan is entitled to his opinion,” Christie told reporters. “I’m not going to micro-analyze every bit of the campaign.”

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