House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) ended a month-long holdout by formally backing his party’s presumptive presidential nominee: Donald Trump.
On Thursday, the speaker penned a guest column for his hometown newspaper in which he trumpeted the controversial real-estate mogul as someone who could support the speaker’s conservative agenda. The move consolidated Trump’s backing from Republican congressional leaders and most party leaders, leaving a small-but-influential bloc of conservatives who have vowed to never support the real-estate mogul isolated and without a significant leader carrying their flag.
Like many senior Republicans, Ryan’s endorsement came with its share of caveats about the speaker and the presumptive nominee’s remaining policy differences. It did not signal any level of comfort with Trump’s sometimes bombastic style compared to the Midwestern values the speaker tries to embody. Instead, Ryan’s decision came down most squarely to attempting to prevent another Democrat from claiming the Oval Office.