House Speaker Paul Ryan will vote for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Ryan wrote in a column submitted to The Gazette, his hometown Wisconsin newspaper, on Thursday.
“Donald Trump and I have talked at great length about things such as the proper role of the executive and fundamental principles such as the protection of life,” Ryan wrote. “The list of potential Supreme Court nominees he released after our first meeting was very encouraging.”
He continued: “Through these conversations, I feel confident he [Trump] would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives. That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall.”
Trump tweeted Thursday that it was “so great” to have Ryan’s endorsement.
“We will both be working very hard to Make America Great Again!” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said.
There was speculation over whether Ryan would vote for Trump after he said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper last month that he was not yet ready to support the billionaire real-estate mogul. It was an unprecedented stance for the party’s highest-ranking elected official to take on its presumptive nominee.
“To be perfectly candid with you, Jake, I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now,” Ryan told Tapper on May 5. “I hope to, and I want to. But I think what is required is to unify this party. And I think the bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee.”
The speakercalled on Trump to “set aside bullying, set aside belittlement,” but noted that “no Republican should ever consider supporting Hillary Clinton. Let me make that clear.” Trump shot back that he was “not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda,” either.
“Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people,” Trump said at the time.
Ryan and Trump met to discuss areas of common ground one week later, on May 12, but Ryan said afterward that it was still too soon for an endorsement. Ryan’s spokesman, Brendan Buck, tweeted on Thursday after Ryan’s column was published that “we’re not playing word games, feel free to call it an endorsement.”
Ryan noted on Twitter and in The Gazette that the importance of turning “the House GOP’s agenda into laws” and keeping democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton out of the White House ultimately outweighs his differences with Trump.
— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) June 2, 2016
“A Clinton White House would mean four more years of liberal cronyism and a government more out for itself than the people it serves. Quite simply, she represents all that our agenda aims to fix,” Ryan wrote.
“It’s no secret that he [Trump] and I have our differences,” he continued. “I won’t pretend otherwise. And when I feel the need to, I’ll continue to speak my mind. But the reality is, on the issues that make up our agenda, we have more common ground than disagreement.”
Ryan’s column was published as Clinton gave a highly publicized foreign-policy speech slamming Trump on Thursday, where she said electing Trump would be “a historic mistake.”
Clinton’s spokesman, Brian Fallon, tweeted during her speech that “Hillary Clinton is standing up to Trump in the way that the other Republican candidates – and Paul Ryan – never had the backbone to do.”