House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) isn’t backing down from his support of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, even after repeatedly condemning the candidate’s comments and actions.
When asked about this seemingly paradoxical attitude, Ryan punted.
“I cannot and will not support Trump,” one audience member at Tuesday’s CNN Town Hall event said. “It concerns me when the Republican leadership is supporting somebody who’s blatantly racist and has said Islamophobic statements, want to shut down our borders. How can you morally justify your support for this kind of candidate, somebody who could be very destructive?”
Ryan first scolded the young man, a Republican student named Zachary Marcone.
“You’re going to help elect Hillary Clinton,” he said. “And I don’t think Hillary Clinton is support any of the things you stand for if you’re a Republican,” calling a potential Clinton presidency “a third Obama term.”
told CNN host Jake Tapper that he justifies his support for Trump because “it is a binary choice.”
“It is either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. You don’t get a third option,” he said.
Ryan then noted that he’s also criticized Trump for the same issues that bothered Marcone.
“I felt obligated to speak out when I saw something that was wrong, when I heard something that was wrong, that didn’t reflect my views or the views of fellow conservatives and Republicans,” he said. “I think it’s important, no matter what the circumstances, you speak out for what you believe in.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump