- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2016

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan garnered global press coverage when he classified Donald Trump’s recent remarks about a Latino judge as a “textbook definition of a racist comment.”

Democratic strategists quickly played off the controversial moment, casting it as a symbol of disunity and strife in the Republican party — as did a Washington Post op-ed titled “Republicans finally discover Trump is an actual racist.”

Mr. Ryan clarified his comment during an interview with Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” late Tuesday morning. Host Brian Kilmeade wanted to know: Does he really think the presumptive GOP nominee is racist?

“I’m saying that the comment was. I don’t know what’s in his heart, I can’t speak to that whatsoever. What I’m saying is to suggest that a person’s race disqualifies them to do their job is textbook — that’s what I’m saying,” Mr. Ryan replied.

“I’m not saying what’s in his heart because I don’t know what is in his heart, and I don’t think he feels that in his heart. But I don’t think it is wise or justifiable to suggest that a person should be disqualified from their job because of their ethnicity.”

Mr. Ryan also stated that he had not “rethought” his endorsement of Mr. Trump — and offered some advice for the candidate.

“I would recommend that he disavow the kinds of comments that suggest that a person’s race or ethnicity disqualifies them for a job. That’s not the kind of comments that’s a unifier, that’s not the kind of comments that you want to see in someone seeking to become president,” Mr. Ryan said.

“And I would say, continue to support the kinds of reforms and policies that he’s been talking about that we’re laying out here in the next few weeks. And I would just say, have the kind of campaign with the kind of tone that unifies, that aspires, that inspires. That’s what we as conservatives believe in; that’s what Republicans want to see,” he continued. “And yes, I do support Donald Trump.”

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