House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday condemned Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States, saying that singling out religious groups “is not conservatism.”
“What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for,” said Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican. “Not only are there many Muslims serving in our armed forces dying for this country, there are Muslims serving right here in the House working every day to uphold and to defend the Constitution.”
Mr. Ryan, who was the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, said he usually does not comment on campaign politics, but made an exception in this case.
He is the latest Republican to voice outrage over Mr. Trump’s proposal, which has been denounced by most of his rivals for the party nomination.
Mr. Trump offered what he called a “complete and total shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States in response to the threat from Islamic State terrorists following the attack last week by a husband-and-wife jihadi team who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.
“Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islamic terror are Muslims — the vast, vast, vast majority of whom are peaceful, who believe in pluralism, freedom, democracy, individual rights,” Mr. Ryan said at the Capitol.
“I told our members this morning to always strive to live up to our highest ideals, to uphold those principles in the Constitution on which we swear every two years that we will defend. That’s why we are here and that is why we are going to stay here to do the people’s House, and do the people’s work,” he said.