House Speaker Paul Ryan believes Donald Trump is a conservative, but not really.
“I think he is a conservative,” the Wisconsin Republican said at a Wall Street Journal lunch in Cleveland Monday. “There are different kinds of conservatives, that’s for darn sure.”
Ryan has had past disagreements with the presumptive GOP nominee and did not give a formal endorsement until last month. Ryan, who is the chairman of the Republican National Convention being held this week, has been a vocal critic of some of Trump’s controversial remarks and positions on issues ranging from immigration to alleged racism.
But those differences do not disqualify Trump from being called a conservative, according to Ryan.
“I think he is a conservative because of his experiences but is he what we refer to as a movement conservative?” Ryan said. “No, because he didn’t come up that way.
“I know a lot of business leaders who are conservatives, who arrive at their conservatism through their own path in life, not through studying the classics of conservatism.”
Ryan noted that “I come from a different part and wing of the party,” and praised Trump’s choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.
Ryan described Pence, who served with him in Congress for 12 years, as a “happy warrior” and “principled conservative.”
“That was a very good choice, a very exciting choice,” Ryan said.
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Video from Wall Street Journal.
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