“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