After initially declining to offer support, House Speaker Paul Ryan publicly said Thursday he will be voting for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in the presidential race.
In a op-ed in his hometown newspaper, The Gazette, Ryan said he and Trump have “talked at great length about things such as the proper role of the executive and fundamental principles such as the protection of life.”
“Through these conversations, I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives,” Ryan said. “That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall.”
The Gazette asked the speaker’s office if the column equals an endorsement.
“He said he’ll vote for Trump in the piece,” a Ryan spokesman told the paper. “That speaks for itself, in our view.”
Last month, after all of Trump’s primary rivals dropped out of the race, Ryan said he was not yet ready to endorse the New York businessman. “I don’t really know him,” Ryan said then. “I met him once in person in 2012, we had a very good conversation in March on the phone. We just need to get to know each other.”
Days later, Ryan and Trump held a much-hyped about meeting on Capitol Hill. “The process of unifying the Republican Party — which we just finished our primary about a week ago, perhaps one of the most divisive primaries in memory — takes some time,” Ryan said after the meeting.
In his column posted Thursday, Ryan said: “It’s no secret that he and I have our differences. I won’t pretend otherwise. And when I feel the need to, I’ll continue to speak my mind. But the reality is, on the issues that make up our agenda, we have more common ground than disagreement.”