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Paul Ryan: I’m Voting for Trump

Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday that he will vote for Donald Trump.

The Hill reports:

The article noted that when asked whether Ryan was endorsing Trump, a Ryan aide gave an unclear response: “He said he’ll vote for Trump in the piece. That speaks for itself, in our view.”

Ryan aide Brendan Buck followed up moments after the article was published, tweeting, “We’re not playing word games, feel free to call it an endorsement.”

Ryan broke the news just after 3 p.m. EST on Thursday — minutes after Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton began a long-anticipated speech tearing into Trump on foreign policy.

Trump responded on Twitter about two hours later, saying they pair would work together to “Make America Great Again.”

As recently as last week, Ryan shot down reports that he would be imminently endorsing Trump and maintained he would announce on his own timeframe. Yet Ryan’s endorsement came days later, in the midst of a congressional recess.

Ryan’s aides said the Speaker made the decision to endorse Trump earlier this week. Trump and Ryan have not spoken since a phone call last week, aides said.

In the Gazette article, Ryan expressed confidence that Trump would help enact a policy platform House Republicans are expected to release over the course of this month.

Ryan declined to endorse Trump after a joint meeting with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus last month. But he said that weeks of conversations with the Trump campaign have assured him that Trump would be on the same page as House Republicans.

“Through these conversations, I feel confident he 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,” Ryan wrote.

He wrote that he was also reassured by Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

The Speaker had been increasingly isolated in withholding support for Trump. All of the other members of the House GOP leadership team have publicly backed Trump, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

In a bombshell CNN interview shortly after Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee, Ryan maintained that he was “just not ready” to endorse him.

Ryan has publicly rebuked Trump on multiple occasions over the course of the campaign, albeit without directly mentioning the candidate by name. The Speaker condemned Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country, as well as his delay in disavowing a white supremacist’s support and condemning violence erupting at his campaign rallies erupting.

Trump and Ryan, the nation’s highest-ranking elected GOP official, differ on a range of policy areas, including trade pacts, Social Security, Planned Parenthood, easing restrictions with Cuba and immigration.

The Speaker tried to downplay their differences in his Thursday declaration. But he added that he will speak out in defense of conservative principles if he feels the occasion warrants.

“It’s no secret that he and I have our differences. 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 wrote.

Clinton, meanwhile, would never come close to enacting the GOP platform if elected president, Ryan said.

“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.

Photo credit: Raw Story.

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