Trump on Best Behaviour to Woo Republicans But Differences Remain

Is Trump finally toning down the his rhetoric and is Paul Ryan inching close to an outright endorsement?

2 min read
Republican US presidential candidate Trump addresses a crowd in South Carolina. (Photo: Reuters)

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump went on a charm offensive on Thursday to try winning the GoP’s support for his insurgent candidacy, but top Republican Paul Ryan stopped short of endorsing him.

Trump was on his best behaviour on a day of meetings with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, listening patiently as they raised concerns about his tone and the need to appeal to Hispanic voters.

He avoided harsh language, given the frequent criticism he has lobbed from the campaign trail, that many lawmakers are awestruck by the corridors of power and forget why they were sent to Washington.

The whole discussion was very solid, reasonable and a warm and winning discussion, I think you’re going to find he’s going to be better and better all the time
Senator Orrin Hatch, Utah

Is Trump Toning it Down?

The US budget deficit and debt were among the issues Trump and Ryan discussed, sources familiar with the meeting said. Trump’s day in Washington was aimed at laying to rest some of the concerns that persist among Republicans about his provocative tone and some policy proposals at odds with party doctrine.

The New York billionaire, who needs the party behind him to bolster his chances at winning the 8 November election, has vowed to build a wall along the US border with Mexico, deport 11 million illegal immigrants, temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country and impose trade protectionist policies.

Trump held an hour-long session with Ryan, who as speaker of the House of Representatives, is the top US elected Republican and can sway many establishment Republicans leery of Trump.

“This was our first meeting, but it was a very positive step toward unification,” Ryan and Trump said in a joint statement.

House Speaker Paul Ryan. (Photo: AP)
House Speaker Paul Ryan. (Photo: AP)

Paul Ryan Headed Towards Trump Endorsement

Trump said he and Ryan largely agree on issues of border security, trade and beefing up the US military.

Party leaders are normally eager to rally around a presidential nominee to combine forces for the battle leading up to the general election. But Ryan has withheld his endorsement of Trump out of concern over the businessman’s conservative credentials.

“There’s no secret that Donald Trump and I have had our differences. We talked about those differences today,” Ryan said at his weekly news conference. “I do believe we are planting the seeds in getting ourselves unified.”

Ryan also noted that he represents a wing of the conservatives and that it is positive that Trump is bringing new voters into the party.

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