Paul Ryan Says He Doesn’t Support Trump’s Deportation Pledge

  • Bottom line for Speaker: Trump ‘certainly better’ than Clinton
  • Campaign aide says party is ‘banding together’ behind nominee

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Sunday that he doesn’t support some of the campaign promises made by Donald Trump, including a vow to deport millions of undocumented immigrants if elected president, but stood by his endorsement.

Ryan spoke on the CBS television program “Face the Nation” about how he’s talked with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee over policy differences.

QuickTake Immigration reform

“Look, I’ve spoken to him about the Muslim ban and how I disagree with it. About the deportation, I don’t support that as well. That’s not part of our agenda,” Ryan said in an interview taped on June 7.

Trump has pledged to deport some 11 million undocumented immigrants from the U.S. and to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to keep people from entering the country illegally. He issued a news release on Dec. 7 calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S.” Yet on May 12, as he moved closer to locking down the Republican nomination, he said the ban “hasn’t been called for yet” and was “only a suggestion.”

‘Fair and Square’

In a separate interview on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” taped last week, Ryan dismissed the idea of anyone mounting a challenge to Trump at the Republican Party’s convention in Cleveland in July.

“The way I see it is he won the thing fair and square,” Ryan said. “Seventeen people competed, one person won, and he got the delegates.”

Paul Manafort, Trump’s convention manager, said “very few people” were talking about a last-ditch challenge to the candidate, while many more were working for unity.

“There aren’t going to be any serious issues in Cleveland. People are banding together. What’s getting all the attention are five or six people. Then there’s the broad base of the Republican Party that has united behind Donald Trump, is working with us, helping us build out our campaign,” Manafort said on ABC.

‘Trickle-Down Racism’

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican candidate, has been one of the remaining outspoken critics of Trump, and he warned on Friday of “trickle-down racism” created by the candidate’s words and actions.

Manafort said Romney was a “coward” who chose not to run against Trump, and dismissed other doubters, including Republican donor Meg Whitman, chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., as “sitting in their cocoon, you know, away from the reality of the world.”

Ryan said he still plans to serve as chairman of the Republican convention, a role typically taken on by the Speaker. “Donald asked me to continue serving in that capacity. I do intend and plan on serving as the chairman.”

After Trump was criticized by presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for lacking the temperament to be president, Ryan said that the billionaire political novice was more than the brash character he projects on the stump.

“I can’t speak for his stage presence. But in private, I find his temperament to be much better than what you see on stage,” Ryan said. “Look, I believe that he’s certainly better than Hillary Clinton. These are the choices that we have.”

(An earlier version was corrected to reflect a revised transcript.)

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