House Speaker Paul Ryan weighed in on Donald Trump’s failure to clearly repudiate white nationalist David Duke during a recent TV interview saying there was no room for “games.”
Ryan was responding to a recent CNN interview in which Trump declined to denounce David Duke, a white nationalist who urged supporters to vote for Trump last week. Though Trump had initially said he disavowed Duke’s support, during the CNN interview he seemed hesitant to do so, saying, “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke.” Trump later claimed he had trouble hearing the questions because of a faulty earpiece.
Speaker Ryan appeared frustrated at having to address the issue Tuesday. “This is the kind of moment where we should be having a serious debate about the policies needed to restore the American idea. Instead, the conversation over the last few days has been over white supremacy groups,” Ryan told a group of reporters Tuesday.
“As you know, I try to stay out of the ups and downs of the primary, but I’ve also said when I see something that runs counter to who we are as a party and a country, I will speak up. So today I want to be very clear about something. If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican party, there can be no evasion and no games. They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry.
“This party does not prey on people’s prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals. This is the party of Lincoln. We believe all people are created equal in the eyes of God and our government. This is fundamental and if someone wants to be our nominee they must understand this. I hope this is the last time I need to speak out on this race,” Ryan concluded.