Paul Ryan Closes Campaign With Another Awkward Embrace Of Donald Trump

The speaker had committed to attend a Trump rally before it was cancelled.
Mark Kauzlarich / Reuters

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has had an odd, at times difficult relationship with his party’s nominee, Donald Trump. He has frequently condemned some of Trump’s more inflammatory rhetoric and incendiary positions, even denouncing them as textbook racism.

Only, every time, he follows up by reaffirming his support for the businessman.

For Ryan’s critics, it’s been shameful subservience. For his defenders, the pushback has always come in the form of a question: what are his alternatives? Trump not only is the party’s standard-bearer; he has the passionate following of millions of voters. If Ryan’s job is to defend the House majority, he can’t alienate that faction.

Over the past month, the tensions in the Ryan-Trump relationship have been on full display. After a tape emerged of Trump bragging about his penchant for grabbing women by their genitalia, Ryan scrapped a joint appearance that had been scheduled in Wisconsin and said he was “sickened” by the remark.

But time and the potential to grab political power apparently can help one forget nausea. Less than a month later, Ryan was set to campaign alongside Trump at an event in West Allis this Sunday.

Here is the report from Jessie Opoien of The Capital Times:

“We don’t know if it’s scheduled firm or not yet, but I intend to do it if he’s here,” Ryan told reporters Saturday when asked if he would attend the Trump rally. “Here’s the point: we’re going from here to Mukwonago to go campaign with Mike Pence. So everybody’s schedule is a little bit in flux in these closing moments, but if our nominee comes, we’ll campaign with him.”

Alas, the rally was canceled due to a scheduling conflict, leaving Ryan once more in the worst of all worlds: tying himself to Trump with nothing actually to show for it.

Even though Trump wasn’t at the rally, his impact ― mainly, the anger he’s stirred in the crowds ― certainly was felt. During a riff the speaker was making on the scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton, a man was caught shouting for her assassination. “Lee Harvey Oswald, where are you when we need you?” the man screams. Ryan doesn’t appear to stop his speech even though the man was within earshot.

Democratic trackers captured footage of the incident:

HUFFPOST READERS: What’s happening in your state or district? The Huffington Post wants to know about all the campaign ads, mailers, robocalls, candidate appearances and other interesting campaign news happening by you. Email any tips, videos, audio files or photos to

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

Go To Homepage

Popular in the Community