- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The mainstream media — aided by a few Republican detractors — tried to push the narrative the GOP could never unite under businessman Donald Trump, that he was a fake, a phony, wasn’t a true conservative.

That narrative can finally be put to bed with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Mr. Trump Thursday after a weekslong courtship.

“As I said from the start, my goal has been to unite the party so we can win in the fall,” Mr. Ryan wrote in a column in his hometown newspaper, GazetteXtra. Mr. Ryan said his conversations with Mr. Trump made him feel confident Mr. Trump would sign the House’s agenda into law, protect the sanctity of life, and focus on issues that unite Republicans.

“Through these conversations, I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives. That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall,” Mr. Ryan said.

The endorsement of Mr. Ryan is huge for Mr. Trump, who needs to get the conservative grass-roots networks activated to turnout the vote in November. Mr. Ryan is also in lock-step with the majority of the Republican Party who don’t want to see Hillary Clinton win the White House.

“One person who we know won’t support [the House’s agenda] is Hillary Clinton,” Mr. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, wrote. “A Clinton White House would mean four more years of liberal cronyism and a government more out for itself than the people it serves. Quite simply, she represents all that our agenda aims to fix.”

A study by pollsters FiveThirtyEight found the last four live interview polls that broke down results by partisanship, Mr. Trump averaged 85 percent support against Mrs. Clinton among respondents who identified as Republicans — right in line with the share of Republican vote among past GOP presidential nominees.

The reason? A Clinton presidency is unbearable to most within the GOP. She’s lied about her private email server, is an affront to Second Amendment rights, has promised more than $1 trillion in new government entitlements, has promised to expand executive powers and protect Obamacare. She will veto any bills produced by a Republican Congress — indeed she’s called the GOP her No. 1 enemy — and will have the choice of several Supreme Court justices.

Not to mention what favors will be traded between the White House, foreign countries and the Clinton Foundation.

It was enough to sway Mr. Ryan to endorse Mr. Trump. And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Cathy McMorris Rogers, the top House Republican woman; and former presidential rivals Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker, no matter what their previous misgivings.

“If Trump continues to win most Republicans and [Vermont Sen. Bernard] Sanders supporters continue to hold out even after Clinton clinches the nomination, Trump has a real shot of winning in November,” wrote Harry Enten, of FiveThirtyEight, who conducted the analysis showing Mr. Trump is winning over the GOP in polls. “But, for now at least, we can put to bed the notion of a strong #NeverTrump movement among Republican voters.”

Thank goodness.

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