- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Real estate mogul and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said Rep. Paul Ryan, who many Republicans are calling on to enter the race to be the next House speaker, is a “terrific guy” who’s “very, very weak” on the issue of illegal immigration.

Mr. Trump said he’s “a little concerned” about Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, “because if you look at his thing on illegal immigration, it’s very weak.”

“His stance on illegal immigration — amnesty — is, in his opinion, like a very strong situation. I don’t see it. I don’t see it,” Mr. Trump said Monday evening on Fox News’ “Hannity” program. “We have to have a border, we have to have a wall, we have to have people come in, but they have to come in legally, and he’s very, very weak on that issue and that bothers me, and I like him a lot. I think he’s a terrific guy. But he’s very, very weak on illegal immigration, and that hurts from my standpoint.”

SEE ALSO: Paul Ryan emerges as House speaker favorite despite immigration stance

Many Republicans have been calling on Mr. Ryan to run to replace House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, abruptly took his name out of the running last week.

Mr. Ryan has a mixed voting record on immigration, offering support for several legalization bills over the past 15 years while also backing House Republicans’ enforcement bills and voting against the Dream Act in 2010 to legalize young adult illegal immigrants.

“I’ve been saying we need somebody very, very tough and very, very smart — [it] has to be a combination,” Mr. Trump said. “It can’t be one without the other.”

“I know plenty of tough guys that aren’t smart, and I know the other, too, and I don’t think that works either in this case,” he said. “We need tough and we need smart, and if we don’t get that, it’s problems.”

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