It’s long been clear that House Speaker Paul Ryan is, shall we say, not wholly comfortable with Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. The announcement of Ryan’s and Trump’s first joint appearance of the campaign on Saturday in Wisconsin — just four weeks before the election — was simply the latest reminder.
The awkwardly worded missive on Thursday said that Ryan would appear with top Wisconsin Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson. Oh, and by the way, the third paragraph of Ryan’s release says that Trump “will also join Wisconsin Republicans” at the annual party festival in Elkhorn, a small city in Ryan’s congressional district.
In the news business, that’s known as “burying the lead.” The announcement also doesn’t say that Ryan is actually campaigning for Trump, just that they are appearing at the same event. Asked Thursday why he hasn’t appeared with Trump, Ryan said: “I’ve been busy doing my job.”
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“I want to win up and down the ballot, but my primary responsibility is re-election of House Republicans,” Ryan said during a brief interview after appearing at a campaign stop for GOP House candidate Lloyd Smucker, who is expected to win an open GOP seat in a district near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.