Rabat - Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was one of several Republicans to express disapproval for Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims, following the deadly Orlando shooting. At a news conference at the Republican National Committee, he said: “I do not think a Muslim ban…is reflective of our principles.”
Rabat – Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was one of several Republicans to express disapproval for Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims, following the deadly Orlando shooting. At a news conference at the Republican National Committee, he said: “I do not think a Muslim ban…is reflective of our principles.”
“This is a war with radical Islam. It’s not a war with Islam. Muslims are our partners. The vast, vast majority of Muslims around this country and around the world are moderate. They’re peaceful, they’re tolerant,” he continued. “They are among our best allies…in this fight.”
Ryan continued to dismiss domestic divisions of political leanings or sexual orientation, asserting that “we are all Americans.”
Despite the Speaker’s endorsement of Trump’s candidacy two weeks ago, Ryan has criticized many of his statements and proposed policies. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants has been at the center of this criticism, although Ryan has also criticized Trump for failing to decisively denounce a racist Klansman’s endorsement, advocating violence at his rallies to suppress dissenters, and asserting that Judge Curiel’s Mexican descent makes him incapable of performing his job.
These sentiments were echoed by several other Republicans. Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, and Senators Lindsey Graham and Lamar Alexander of South Carolina and Tennessee respectively all rejected Trump’s Muslim ban. Adam Kinzinger called Trump’s comments “counterproductive.” Lindsey Graham said that “Mr. Trump’s reaction to declare war on the faith [of Islam] is the worst possible solution.” Lamar Alexander reminded reporters that Trump was only the presumptive Republican nominee, not the official one.
Other Republicans, however, refused to address Trump’s calls to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, and Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah, John Barrasso of Wyoming, and Tim Scott of South Carolina were all asked to comment on this ban and declined to answer.
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee also did not unequivocally condemn Trump’s ban, instead saying that he was “discouraged” by Trump’s comments and the “direction of the campaign.”
Other notable Republicans expressing concern for Trump’s statements include Florida governor Jeb Bush, former New Jersey governor Whitman, Senator Johnson of Wisconsin, Senator Sasse of Nebraska, Congressman Rigell of Virginia, Congressman Ribble of Wisconsin, and Florida Congressman Curbelo.
The mixed Republican reactions to Trump’s proposals are unsurprising given their stances at the start of the campaign season. As an outsider candidate, he built his campaign upon challenging the establishment and breaking from politics-as-usual. As his popularity grew and his rivals dropped out of the race, Republicans increasingly rallied behind him. Several have refused, and Speaker Ryan’s cautious endorsement on June 2nd has not precluded his criticism of Trump in the past two weeks. While the majority of Republican representatives have not denounced Trump and he remains the candidate of choice for Republican voters, the Republican Party remains divided on Donald Trump’s policies and candidacy for president.