Paul Ryan: I am not ready to endorse Donald Trump. . . . I think conservatives want to know: Does he share our values and our principles on limited government, the proper role of the executive, adherence to the Constitution? There’s a lot of questions that conservatives, I think, are going to want answers to.Ryan and his allies have made a religion of conservatism, with a creed to which they expect all Republicans to swear fidelity.
Trump: I'm not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda. . . . Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!
Trump counters that what really matters is the people – or his people, anyway – and politicians should put defending their people above a bunch of lofty language about a 225-year-old piece of paper. If the Constitution says we can't discriminate against Muslim immigrants, to hell with the Constitution. Defending the people against terrorism should come first.
And before anything else, Republicans need to win. Why, Trump asks, would anybody listen to Mitt Romney, who couldn't even beat Obama? All of his adherence to the party line didn't end up helping any conservatives, because he didn't get to be president.
Trump offered Republican voters this choice: do you want some kind of conservative priest who can recite doctrine all day, or a winner who will fight for you whether that's in the doctrine or not? His victory shows what the average Republican voter thinks.