Speaker of the House Paul Ryan asserted that he was unable to support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee until he started acting more like a conservative and started uniting the party.
“Well to be perfectly candid with you, I’m not ready to do that yet,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview. “I am not there right now.”
Ryan insisted that Trump needed to do more to unite the Republican party, reminding him that it was the party of Lincoln, Reagan, and Jack Kemp.
“I do not want to underplay what he accomplished,” Ryan said, referring to Trump. “He needs to be congratulated for winning the delegates, but he inherited something special.”
He repeatedly called for Trump to work further to unite the party, before he would be willing to fully back him. He cited the need for Trump to recognize the political success of Republicans, especially in the House of Representatives. “I think he’s got some work to do,” Ryan said.
Ryan also called for Trump to “set aside bullying” and “belittlement” after becoming the Republican nominee.
But Ryan argued that this was not the time for Republicans to support Hillary Clinton.
“No one should support Hillary Clinton. Let’s make that clear,” he said, referring to himself as “just a guy giving you my piece of mind.”
He also appeared confident Trump could beat Clinton in the fall.
“I think yeah, we can beat Hillary Clinton. Yeah, are you kidding me?” he asked. “Yeah, it’s possible.”