REPORT: Paul Ryan Hints Withdrawing Donald Trump Endorsement
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is considering withdrawing his endorsement of Donald Trump, according to multiple sources cited by Politico.
According to the report, Ryan has grown dismayed by the tone and tenor of Trump’s campaign and has discussed with close advisers the best way to flee the GOP nominee’s sinking ship. Ryan is gathering House Republicans on a conference call Monday morning at 11 a.m.
No decision has been made. But that the speaker of the House has even mulled abandoning his own party’s presidential nominee is illustrative of the extraordinarily bizarre political climate in the Republican Party.
According to multiple sources close to Ryan, the discussions occurred after the bombshell video Friday of Trump talking in predatory terms about his sexual exploits, but before the second presidential debate Sunday night.
“How to express displeasure in a meaningful way… How best to help members in tough races… How to try to rebuild the party post the anticipated apocalypse. I think they are all having individual and group discussions wrestling with this,” a senior House Republican leadership aide familiar with the discussion said.
A number of Senate and House Republicans in tough races have already announced they won’t back Trump, leaving their leaders to decide whether to follow suit.
Trump reacted by lashing out at establishment Republicans who abandoned him. Capitol Hill GOP insiders are fretting about the political situation they’re now in. If they criticize Trump, they could lose the support of the Republican base. If they don’t, independents might flee.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page suggested Sunday that the GOP congressional leaders withdraw their support for Trump if they need to do so to save their majorities.
“They can’t be blamed for breaking from Mr. Trump if that is what their consciences demand or if that is the best path to political survival this year,” the Journal’s editorial board wrote.
Trump’s performance during Sunday’s ugly and oftentimes vicious debate could’ve been enough to staunch GOP support from bleeding further. But Republicans are bracing for impact as the possibility of additional scandalous videotapes are almost certain to surface.