Paul Ryan is the star guest on this morning’s Sunday shows, and if you have a solid theory as to why, I’m all ears. He spent the past week calling Trump’s comments about the judge “racist,” then caught a ton of flak for it from congressional Republicans, then caught a ton of flak from the other side when Mitt Romney’s pals came after him at the big donor summit this weekend for supporting Trump. I mean, really:
One of the toughest questions for Ryan came from Meg Whitman, the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard and a longtime friend of Romney’s who helped bankroll a Republican anti-Trump super PAC this spring. Whitman asked Ryan how he could endorse someone with, in her judgment, such poor character and whose campaign has been based on personal attacks and division. According to two people present, Whitman said Trump is the latest in a long line of historic demagogues, explicitly comparing him to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
You would think the guy might not want to do interviews for awhile, especially knowing that he’s sure to be pressed on what Whitman said to him, but here he is, all set for “This Week” and “Face the Nation” today. I assume he’s doing it because he wants to talk about his anti-poverty agenda — and he will, for about three minutes after 20 minutes of fielding questions about Trump. Right now Ryan’s running a sort of parallel campaign to Trump’s, believing that if he shows voters a different type of Republicanism, that’ll mitigate any damage the party sustains downballot in November. I think he’s kidding himself — there’s no way to overshadow Trump in mass media — but he has to give it the ol’ college try.
Elsewhere this morning, Trump campaign co-managers Paul Manafort and Corey Lewandowski will also be on “This Week” and “Face the Nation,” respectively, to explain how Trump will change his style or not change his style at all, respectively, during the months ahead. Bernie Sanders will appear on the same two shows plus “State of the Union” to update his progress in coming to terms with the fact that he’s had no chance of winning the nomination for about three months now. And Jeff Sessions will be on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss Trump-style “conservatism” and his VP prospects. The full line-up is at the AP.