ELECTION 2016

Changing his tune

Speaker Paul Ryan pivots and heaps praise on President-elect Trump

Paul Ryan just changed his tune on Donald Trump

House Speaker Paul Ryan repeatedly heaped praise on President-elect Donald Trump in a press conference in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, the morning after the real estate mogul’s stunning win. Ryan had abandoned the Republican nominee a month ago to focus on congressional races after a 2005 tape leaked of Trump bragging about groping women without their consent.

But after Trump rocked the political establishment by winning the presidency Tuesday evening and winning Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin — the first Republican presidential candidate to carry it since 1984 — Ryan described Trump as a man who “heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard.”

 

Trump had accomplished an “enormous feat” and “turned politics on its head,” Ryan reiterated several times in what appeared to be pre-scripted talking points. He gave Trump credit for “coattails” that helped Republicans win their congressional seats.

Ryan tried to pivot away from his clashes with candidate Trump on the campaign trail to future collaboration on policy with President Trump. Ryan said he had spoken to Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence — a former colleague in the House of Representatives — twice since they clinched victory Tuesday night.

But Trump has so far been noncommittal on whether he will support Ryan remaining Speaker. When asked if he had discussed the matter with the president-elect, Ryan deflected and simply said he looked forward to working with Trump on legislation. Many of Trump’s top supporters, like conservative radio host Sean Hannity, have been irate at Ryan’s behavior during the campaign. 

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