- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that he and likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump are “from different wings of the party,” and Thursday’s meeting is about trying to find a way to unify their visions.

“We’ve got a process we’re just getting started,” Mr. Ryan said as he tried to tamp down expectations for what will come out of the meeting.

As the top elected Republican in the country, Mr. Ryan has been trying to steer the GOP in one direction, yet party voters have chosen Mr. Trump, who champions immigration, trade and spending policies diametrically opposed to Mr. Ryan’s plans.

The two men have only met once before, several years back, Mr. Ryan said.

Instead, they’ve sparred through the press, Twitter and official statements. Mr. Ryan criticized Mr. Trump’s slow rejection of racist groups.

And after Mr. Trump sewed up the nomination last week, Mr. Ryan still withheld his support, even as other top party officials lined up, including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Mr. Ryan now says that jumping on board with Mr. Trump would have been fake unity, and the GOP must go through the difficult process of finding a real unity if it’s to win.

“To pretend we’re unified without actually unified, then we go into the fall at half strength,” he said. “I want to be a part of that unifying process so we’re at full strength this fall.”

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