House Speaker Paul Ryan says he cannot currently support Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee chosen by the Republican electorate.
“I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now,” Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday. “This is the party of Lincoln, of Reagan, of Jack Kemp,” Ryan said. “We don’t always nominate a Lincoln or a Reagan every four years, but we hope that our nominee aspires to be Lincoln and Reagan-esque and that that person advances the principles of our Party and appeals to a wide vast majority of Americans.”
Tapper did not press Ryan on the fact that Trump has won more popular votes this primary election cycle than Mitt Romney did in all of 2012. Nor did he point out that Ryan’s position on immigration is supported by a maximum of only 7% of Republican voters, according to Pew polling data. Tapper similarly did not point out that only a minuscule 11% of Republican voters agree with Ryan’s vision on foreign trade.
While Ryan gave a passing mention halfway into his interview that “No Republican should ever think about supporting Hillary Clinton,” Ryan’s declaration—as Tapper explained—is “a fairly dramatic announcement that the Speaker of the House cannot as of now support his party’s nominee for President.”
CNN reports that Ryan’s opposition likely stems from Trump’s positions on trade and immigration:
Asked whether Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, his opposition to free trade and his call to deport 12 million undocumented immigrants would preclude him from ever supporting Trump, Ryan said: ‘We got work to do.’
Ryan’s declaration that he will not support the presumptive GOP nominee at this time is perhaps not entirely surprising given that on the seminal issues of this election, Speaker Ryan holds functionally the same positions as Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton: namely, Ryan supports more foreign migration, more foreign trade, and more foreign military engagements.
More Foreign Migration
As Breitbart News has previously reported, Speaker Ryan is perhaps Congress’s greatest advocate for open borders. Dating back to his time as a Capitol Hill staffer in the mid-90s, Ryan was part of the effort to derail the bipartisan immigration curbs inspired by Civil Rights leader and late-Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. In 2013, Ryan actively campaigned on behalf of Marco Rubio and Barack Obama’s amnesty and immigration expansion plan. As House Speaker, Ryan passed an omnibus spending bill which included a massive increase in the number of low-skilled foreign workers to fill U.S. jobs. Ryan’s omnibus spending bill also funded visas for nearly 300,000 Muslim migrants for this year alone.
“Open borders is in his ideological DNA,” Roy Beck, the president of the immigration control group NumbersUSA, has explained. “He’s an ideologue and has spent his whole life working for ideologues. Open borders seeps out of every pore of his being … Ryan is the heart and soul of crony capitalism.”
Similarly, Hillary Clinton has called for expanding Muslim refugee resettlement, enacting amnesty, and massively increasing the number of foreign workers admitted into the country. Both Ryan and Hillary Clinton supported the failed McCain-Kennedy 2007 amnesty plan.
In fact, in a December address at the National Immigrant Integration Conference, Clinton touted her support for the Chamber of Commerce-backed immigration agenda, which would have resulted in an explosion of low-skilled workers to compete for American jobs and drive down wages. “We could add hundreds of billions of dollars to our GDP by passing comprehensive immigration reform, which is why people across the political spectrum from labor unions to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supported the 2013 senate bill,” Clinton said.
During her December speech, Clinton heaped praise upon Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who has previously declared, “I have only one loyalty… and that’s to the immigrant community.” Ryan has similarly expressed his admiration for Gutierrez. In fact, Gutierrez has been an effusive booster of Speaker Ryan, declaring his early endorsement for Ryan as House Speaker last year.
Clinton has described Trump’s call for a temporary pause on Muslim migration as “shameful and contrary to our values.”
Paul Ryan has similarly denounced Trump’s call for a temporary pause on Muslim migration — stating that the proposal “is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.” In November, Ryan told Sean Hannity that he would not support curbs to Muslim migration, insisting, “That’s not who we are.”
Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly disagrees, describing Paul Ryan’s view as “absolutely wrong. I think all the polls show that the country is with Donald Trump on that issue … It is certainly not our duty to let in everybody who wants to come to this country … I think that we need to respect the will of the majority. Republicans ought to be a grassroots party. And the grassroots certainly agree with Donald Trump on most issues, but certainly on the immigration issue.”
Polling data seems to confirm Schlafly’s argument. Exit polls show that seven out of ten Wisconsin GOP voters support Donald Trump’s plan to temporarily pause Muslim migration — rejecting Ryan’s views on Muslim migration.
More Foreign Trade
Hillary Clinton has a longstanding history of supporting the foreign trade policy championed by Ryan.
Clinton’s support for these policies has opened her up to criticism from the presumptive GOP nominee. “She doesn’t understand trade, her husband signed, perhaps in the history of the world, the worst trade deal, in NAFTA,” Trump said following his Indiana victory.
In 2012 Clinton said that Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement set the “gold standard in trade agreements.”
Similarly, Paul Ryan has been a vocal advocate for trade globalism. In 2015, Ryan was President Obama’s “partner” in their effort to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In a 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ryan described the TPP as an “historic” agreement which “would mean greater access to a billion customers for American manufacturers, farmers and ranchers.”
On Thursday, following Trump’s electoral victory, Ryan released a statement that seemed to celebrate those trade policies, which the Republican electorate has rejected with their support of Donald Trump. “International trade supports tens of millions of jobs in our country, including more than 800,000 in Wisconsin alone,” Ryan wrote. “In a confident America, we engage with our allies and tear down barriers for our workers and our entrepreneurs. This way, if you have a good idea, you can make it happen.”
However, Ryan’s own constituents do not seem to share Ryan’s views. According to Wisconsin exit polls, a mere one in three Wisconsin Republicans — when asked a question that put the most charitable possible spin on Ryan’s view — accepted Ryan’s trade vision. A majority (54%) said that foreign trade deals take away U.S. jobs.
While Donald Trump lost the state of Wisconsin, he won Paul Ryan’s hometown of Janesville. Exit polls showed that a majority of Wisconsin Republicans (51%) say they feel betrayed by the party, which is currently led by Wisconsin Speaker Ryan.
More Foreign Military Engagements
On foreign military interventionism, Ryan’s views again seem to align much more closely to those of Hillary Clinton as opposed to those of Donald Trump.
As New York Magazine’s Mark Landler noted in April, neither of Clinton’s Republican opponents “demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has.”
Clinton’s intervensionist ideology seems starkly opposed to Trump’s “America First” foreign policy. “We’re getting out of the nation-building business and instead focusing on creating stability in the world,” Trump recently said in his foreign policy address.
On this issue, again, Ryan seems more closely aligned to Clinton’s views than Trump’s. In a 2011 address, Ryan outlined his views on universalism, stating: “If you believe these rights are universal human rights … it leads you to reject moral relativism. It causes you to recoil at the idea of persistent moral indifference toward any nation that stifles and denies liberty, no matter how friendly and accommodating its rulers are to American interests.”
As Breitbart News has previously reported, “Ryan Republicanism promotes policies that would start foreign wars in the Middle East and then would bring the refugees of those wars into the United States. In this sense, Ryan Republicans are launching a Democratic experiment on two fronts: not only do they seek to nation build and make the world safe for Democracy abroad, but they also seek to import large flows of migrants, who have no history of Democracy and limited government, into the country to see if they can seamlessly integrate into our Democracy here.”
During his foreign policy address, Trump seemed to highlight this aspect of Clinton’s interventionist worldview, which pushes for more military engagements and then advocates for bringing in more migrants from the subsequently unstable regions. Trump said:
We’re a humanitarian nation, but the legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion, and disarray, a mess. We’ve made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before … Hillary Clinton also refuses to say the words radical Islam, even as she pushes for a massive increase in refugees coming into our country.
The significance of Ryan’s declaration that he will not yet support Trump underscores yet another structural disadvantage facing the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee. While Nancy Pelosi will have an army of House offices blanketing the country with message point bulletins spinning the Clinton agenda on migration, it seems unlikely that Paul Ryan will put a minute of effort into organizing a similar effort on behalf of Trump and his pledge to reduce migration.