Trump and Ryan stress the importance of GOP unity

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee and House Speaker signal their unity following a meeting on Capitol Hill.

Ben Ariel,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Reuters

Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, and House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday released a statement meant to signal their unity following a meeting on Capitol Hill.

The statement, quoted by The Hill, said the two had a “great conversation” and that they were honest over their “few differences” during two hours of meetings on Thursday. 

“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,” the joint statement said.

It fell short of an endorsement of Trump by Ryan, but the Speaker in a press conference after the meeting said he was "very encouraged" by what he had heard from Trump, who described as a warm and generous person.

Ryan said it would be the first of a number of meetings, and that the two would get further into the "policy weeds" in the future.

Trump expressed enthusiasm about his trip to Capitol Hill, tweeting, "things are working out really well!"

On Wednesday, ahead of the meeting, Ryan said he cannot “pretend” the Republican party is unified and acknowledged it will “take some work” to bring everyone together.

Those comments came a week after Ryan said he is “not yet ready” to support Trump, to which the billionaire responded by saying he was not ready to support Ryan’s agenda.

Ryan had signaled ahead of Thursday’s meeting that an endorsement at this time was unlikely, saying in one interview that it would take more than one week to unify the party.

He repeated those points at his post-meeting press conference, stating that the GOP has just finished perhaps its most divisive primary in history but that he left the meeting "very encouraged with what I heard from Donald Trump."

He also noted that Trump had won more votes than any other GOP nominee, even though there are still remaining state contests in this year's primary.

"We are now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified to bridge the gaps and differences," he said, according to The Hill.

"From here, we are going to go deeper into the policy areas to see where that common ground is and how we can make sure that we operating off these same core principles."

The joint statement from Trump and Ryan highlighted one of those common values and echoed talking points sent earlier in the day to Trump surrogates emphasizing the need to defeat likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“The United States cannot afford another four years of the Obama White House, which is what Hillary Clinton represents,” it said. “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.”




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