- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2016

GOP Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin said Donald Trump’s publicly refusing to endorse House Speaker Paul D. Ryan “makes no sense,” and that Mr. Trump’s recent comments about the speaker will only serve to hurt him in the parts of the state where he has the most work to do.

Paul Ryan is loved in our state because he’s a conservative who has advocated for conservative policies, and Donald Trump coming out saying favorable things about Mr. Ryan’s opponent doesn’t add to the number of voters in Wisconsin that’ll vote Donald Trump,” Mr. Duffy said Thursday on CNN’s “New Day.”

“He did the same thing in the Republican primary — he went after Scott Walker,” Mr. Duffy said. “Scott Walker is loved in our state because of his conservative viewpoints and policies that he’s implemented.”

Mr. Walker had endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz ahead of the Wisconsin’s April 5 Republican primary contest, but has since said he’s supporting Mr. Trump over Hillary Clinton and spoke at the Republican National Convention last month.

Mr. Cruz rolled to a double-digit win over Mr. Trump in the state’s GOP primary.

“You go after a Scott Walker and a Paul Ryan, you don’t add to the number of voters that you need to win Wisconsin — you detract from them. Big mistake. Paul Ryan will win and we’ll get beyond this after next Tuesday, but I don’t think it’s very smart on the [front] of Donald Trump,” Mr. Duffy said.

“It doesn’t make sense because this is a game of addition. We need to add people to the Republican party, those independents who can swing either way, and this is only detracting,” he said.

“And so I can’t tell you why — it doesn’t make sense,” he said. “Maybe there’s just a lack of understanding of what we are in Wisconsin and how we feel about Paul Ryan and Scott Walker…I can’t get in the mind of Donald Trump and tell you why he’s doing it [because] it makes no sense.”

Mr. Duffy said Mr. Trump can win Wisconsin and the northern part of the state loved him, but that such statements hurt him the most in the southeastern part of the state, where he said Mr. Trump has work to do.

“I couldn’t reject Donald Trump’s statements more effectively,” he said. “Paul Ryan is the gold standard for conservatism. I don’t know what Donald Trump is doing.”

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that businessman Paul Nehlen is not going to defeat Mr. Ryan on Tuesday, but that Mr. Trump generally doesn’t wade into GOP primaries.

Mr. Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Green Bay on Friday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Mr. Ryan, Mr. Walker, and GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, who is in a tough re-election fight, are not planning to attend.

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