Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) reiterated Tuesday that he would support Donald Trump if he wins the GOP nomination, even as the Speaker called on the party’s front-runner to tone down his rhetoric amid a spate of violence at recent campaign rallies.
For a second day in a row, Ryan condemned “people on the left” who have tried to disrupt Trump events. But he also made clear that presidential candidates have a responsibility for the type of environment they create at their campaign events.
“All candidates have an obligation to try and provide an atmosphere of harmony, to reduce violence, to not incite violence and to make sure we are appealing to people on their best ideals,” Ryan told reporters at a news conference at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters.
“We are going to unite the country around ideas that unite the country, so that we can actually fix our country’s problems,” he added.
A day earlier on a Wisconsin radio show, Ryan stated that “[t]here is never an excuse for condoning violence” at campaign events.
Ryan’s remarks came on the same day Florida, Ohio and three other states were set to vote in the presidential primary.
Ryan has criticized Trump’s plan to temporarily ban Muslims from the United States, and earlier this month he condemned Trump for refusing to more forcefully disavow former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
“When I see our principles being distorted, we’re going to stand up and defend our principles. Not just Republican principles or conservative principles, but American principles,” Ryan said Tuesday. “At the same time, what can we control? We can control our agenda, and that’s what we’re doing.”