- Thomson Reuters
Donald Trump and Paul Ryan released a joint statement on Thursday following their huge meeting in Washington, DC, saying they’ve made a “very positive step” toward unifying the Republican Party.
“The United States cannot afford another four years of the Obama White House, which is what Hillary Clinton represents,” the statement began. “That is why it’s critical that Republicans unite around our shared principals, advance a conservative agenda, and do all we can to win this fall.”
The statement mentioned that the pair had a “great conversation” and were “honest about our few differences.”
“We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal,” the statement read.
“We are extremely proud of the fact that many millions of new voters have entered the primary system, far more than ever before in the Republican Party’s history.
“This was our first meeting, but it was a very positive step toward unification,” it continued.
In a press conference after the meeting, Ryan, the House speaker, said that unifying the party after what he considers one of the most “divisive” primaries in memory “takes some time.”
“I do believe that we are planting the seeds to get ourselves unified to bridge the gaps and differences,” Ryan said. “And so from here we’re going to go deeper into the policy areas to see where the common ground is and to see that we’re operating off of the same core principles.”
He insisted he doesn’t want “a fake unification process” and called Trump a “very warm and genuine person.”
Ryan made headlines last week when he told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he was “not ready” to offer his support to Trump until he has proved his ability to unify the party.
Trump spent the next few days in a war of words with Ryan, saying he was “not ready” to back the speaker’s policy agenda. He later hit him for his 2012 vice presidential run alongside then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
“Well they lost a race that should’ve been won last time, and I’ve been very open about it,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” in a Friday interview. “That was a race that should’ve easily been won. That was an easier race than we have this year, but I’ll win. You already see the polls going up rapidly.”
Trump would later soften his statements on Ryan, telling Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday that he had “a lot of respect for Paul” and that he thought they’d have a “very good” meeting.
“And I look, frankly, for him to stay and be chairman” of the convention, he added.