- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 30, 2016

CNN will host a town hall with House Speaker Paul Ryan a week before the Republican National Convention kicks off, seemingly another sign that he is looking to appeal to general-election voters on behalf of congressional Republicans independent of his party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Mr. Ryan will field questions during the July 12 event from moderator Jake Tapper and audience members about the state of the party and his strategy for maintaining a GOP majority in the House in November, the cable network announced Thursday.

On June 2, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee delivered a tepid endorsement of New York businessman Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

“It’s no secret that he and I have our differences. I won’t pretend otherwise,” Mr. Ryan wrote in an op-ed to his hometown newspaper. “And when I feel the need to, I’ll continue to speak my mind. But the reality is, on the issues that make up our agenda, we have more common ground than disagreement.”

Five days later, Mr. Ryan blasted Mr. Trump’s comment about a Mexican-American federal judge presiding over a Trump University civil lawsuit, saying it was “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”

Mr. Ryan has subsequently sought to balance support for Mr. Trump with carving out a space for down-ballot Republicans to run somewhat independently of the real estate developer.

Earlier this month, the speaker rolled out his “A Better Way” platform for House Republicans to run on in November independent of Mr. Trump’s policy aims.

In a June 17 interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” Mr. Ryan said his fellow House Republicans should be guided by their “conscience” when deciding whether to endorse or vote for Mr. Trump in the general election.

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