quarta-feira, 3 de agosto de 2016

Donald Trump declines to endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain for re-election

Donald Trump declines to endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain for re-election

House speaker and Arizona senator have endorsed Trump for presidency
Republican nominee says of Ryan: ‘I’m just not quite there yet’

Ben Jacobs in Washington
Tuesday 2 August 2016 23.01 BST

The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, declined on Tuesday to endorse the re-election campaign of the House speaker, Paul Ryan, the highest-ranking member of his party in Washington.

“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” Trump said in an interview with the Washington Post, a publication that is still banned from Trump’s campaign events.

“We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”

The Republican nominee also refused to back Senator John McCain, the party’s 2008 nominee, in his bid for re-election in addition to Ryan, the most powerful elected Republican in the country.

Both Ryan and McCain are longtime critics of many of Trump’s remarks, but both have said they would support the Republican nominee in the general election. Ryan, in particular, needed coaxing to eventually support Trump, citing his concerns about the candidate’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. Eventually Ryan not only endorsed Trump but presided over his nomination at the Republican national convention in Cleveland.

Ryan’s campaign responded through a spokesman, Zack Roday, who said: “Neither Speaker Ryan nor anyone on his team has ever asked for Donald Trump’s endorsement. And we are confident in a victory next week regardless.”

The pair of senior Republicans have been critical of Trump in recent months following a string of increasingly racially and religiously charged statements. In June, Ryan described Trump’s attacks on a federal judge, Gustavo Curiel, as “the textbook definition of a racist comment”, and McCain issued a strong rebuke of Trump’s remarks about the Muslim family of a killed army captain on Monday.

“I cannot emphasize how deeply I disagree with Mr Trump’s statement,” McCain said in a statement, referring to Trump’s claim that the Khans had “no right” to criticize him and were motivated by opposition to the ban. “I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican party, its officers or candidates,” McCain said.

Ryan also criticized Trump for his comments, saying: “Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice.”

“Captain Khan was one such brave example,” he added. “His sacrifice – and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan – should always be honored. Period.”

Trump’s refusal to support members of his own party comes exactly one week before Ryan faces a primary challenge from businessman Paul Nehlen, a candidate who has sought to emulate Trump’s rhetoric and policies. Nehlen, who Trump personally thanked on Twitter last night, has branded Ryan “a soulless globalist” and attacked him as the candidate of open borders.

McCain is also facing a primary challenge at the end of August from Kelli Ward, a former Arizona state senator who has accused the 2008 Republican nominee of being “directly responsible for Isis”. If the five-term senator manages to fend off the primary challenge, he still faces a competitive general election against Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, in what McCain has described as “the race of my life”.

Although Arizona was once solidly Republican, the heavily Latino state is now considered an electoral tossup because of Trump’s unpredictable effect on candidates whose names follow his own on the ballot. For over a year, McCain has also called on Trump to apologize for saying he prefers “people who weren’t captured” to prisoners of war, like the senator was himself in Vietnam. Trump has not apologized.

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