Paul Ryan on Charlottesville: ‘There Are No Sides ‘

paul ryan
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) posted to Facebook on Monday regarding what took place in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month when white nationalists clashed with Antifa protesters, resulting in the death of a woman who are deliberately hit by a car and two law enforcement officers who died when the helicopter they were riding in crashed.

A pull quote in the Ryan post seems to push back at what President Donald Trump said at a press conference at Trump Tower on Aub. 15 focused on infrastructure after reporters pressed him about the nature of the protesters in Charlottesville.

“Yes, I think there’s blame on both sides,” Trump said. “If you look at both sides — I think there’s blame on both sides.”

“And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either,” Trump said.

Trump said that there were also people in both groups of protesters that were there to simply to express their opinion — one side wanted to preserve the statue of Robert E. Lee in a park in Charlottesville and the other side believed it should be removed because Lee led the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

“There are no sides,” the pull quote in Ryan’s post states. “There is no other argument. We will not tolerate this hateful ideology in our society.”

In his post Ryan praises the family of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was on the Antifa side of the protest, calling the vehicle attack on her by a man people later said was obsessed with Adolph Hitler “domestic terrorism.”

“Instead of turning to anger, they call for healing and forgiveness,” Ryan writes. “They set a powerful example.”

Ryan explains that he and his family were on their annual camping trip when they heard the news about Charlottesville and says he felt a “range of emotions,” but that he was comforted when people on the “left, right and center” denounced “hateful ideology.”

“The notion that anyone is intrinsically superior to anyone else runs completely counter to our founding principles,” Ryan writes. “Those principles make America special.”

“They by no means make us perfect,” Ryan writes. “We may never fully eradicate this scourge.”

“After all, this republic is defined by its often winding pursuit of a more perfect union,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the fight against hateful ideology is “much bigger” than a legislative or political issue.

“This is a test of our moral clarity,” Ryan writes. “The words we use and the attitudes we carry matter,” adding that Charlottesville was a “setback” in the “fight to eliminate hate.”

Ryan said we owe it to Heather Heyer and “all of our children” to do more to eliminate hate.

He also pitched his town hall meeting in Racine, Wisconsin, on Monday night where CNN’s Jake Tapper will interview Ryan.


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