Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) found himself in a bit of hot water earlier this week when he chose to be coy about whether or not he would be supporting presumptive nominee Donald Trump. His decision to withhold his blessing caused a bit of a ruckus online and even led to some thought that he might be forced to step down as the chairman for the Republican National Committee.
However, all of that controversy may now be moot, as Ryan and Trump seem to have found common ground Thursday morning. After an hour-long tête-á-tête, the two men emerged seemingly excited about the progress they had made. They even released a joint statement, cheering the productive summit.
The United States cannot afford another four years of the Obama White House, which is what Hillary Clinton represents. That is why it’s critical that Republicans unite around our shared principles, advance a conservative agenda, and do all we can to win this fall. With that focus, we had a great conversation this morning. While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground. We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal. We are extremely proud of the fact that many millions of new voters have entered the primary system, far more than ever before in the Republican Party’s history. This was our first meeting, but it was a very positive step toward unification.
Ryan was happy with the way the meeting went and seems to be optimistic about future relations with the nominee.
“This is our first meetin;, I was very encouraged with this meeting, but this is a process. It takes some time, you don’t put it together in 45 minutes.” Questions still remain as to how the GOP will convince the disparate factions inside the party to coalesce around Mr. Trump. “The question is … how we unify it all? How do we keep adding and adding and adding voters while not subtracting any voters? Most Americans do not like where this country is headed.”
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was similarly cheered:
The meeting was great. It was a very positive step toward party unity.
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 12, 2016
Who knows, this may be the start of a beautiful relationship. Or at least it could be the beginning of a time of healing inside the party that sees most of the unhappy majority returning to the GOP fold.
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