In an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan in his upcoming primary election in Wisconsin. Trump also made it clear that he won’t support Senator John McCain’s reelection campaign in Arizona.
When asked whether he’d be supporting the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, Trump said, “I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country. We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”
As the Washington Post notes, Trump may have been getting revenge for similar statements Speaker Ryan made about him in May. The way Trump phrased his non-endorsement — “I’m just not quite there yet” — echoes Ryan’s remarks in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper: “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now.”
With the Wisconsin primary only a week away, Trump complimented Ryan’s opponent, Paul Nehlen, for running “a very good campaign,” and for being “a big fan of what I’m saying — big fan.” The day before, Trump and Nehlen exchanged compliments on Twitter:
Ryan tepidly endorsed Trump after he became the presumptive nominee this spring, and spoke at the Republican National Convention on his behalf. Ryan has often spoken out when he disagrees with Trump, including when he praised Saddam Hussein or, more recently, disparaged the Muslim-American Gold Star parents of fallen U.S. Army captain Humayun Khan.
Arizona Senator John McCain also spoke up in defense of the Khan family, issuing a lengthy statement on Monday that did not hide his disdain for the Republican nominee. When asked to respond to McCain’s statement, Trump said, “I haven’t endorsed John McCain.” He went on, “I’ve never been there with John McCain because I’ve always felt that he should have done a much better job for the vets.”
(Via Washington Post)