Paul Ryan: ‘Sometimes’ Trump Can Be A Unifier

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday that President Donald Trump does not always represent a unifying force in national politics.

“Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t,” Ryan told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

US President Donald Trump addresses a "Make America Great Again" rally at Bojangles' Coliseum on October 26, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump addresses a “Make America Great Again” rally at Bojangles’ Coliseum on October 26, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Ryan also said he is concerned that conservatives are practicing “tribal identity politics” just like the “left-wing” always did. (RELATED: Paul Ryan Will Not Seek Re-Election)

I worry about tribal identity politics becoming the new norm of how politics is waged. As conservatives we always thought this was sort of a left-wing, [Saul] Alinsky thing. Unfortunately, the right practices identity politics now as well. It’s the day and age, it’s technology and everything else — identity politics, which is now being practiced on both sides of the aisle, is, unfortunately, working. And I think we, as leaders, we got to figure out how do we make inclusive aspirational politics strategically valuable again?

When asked if Trump is a good example of someone who tries to unify the public through “inclusive politics,” Ryan was equivocal.

“Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t,” Ryan told CBS, before adding that Trump has brought the nation together “on economic growth, on tax reform, on getting the military and helping veterans — those are things hat he has led us to that have really brought people together. And he talks about these at his rally, and that is inclusive.” (RELATED: Cruz-Trump Rally Draws Massive Crowd —Five Times As Many RSVPs As Seats)

U.S. President Donald Trump walks with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) as they arrive to address a closed House Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. President Donald Trump walks with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) as they arrive to address a closed House Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

But Ryan turned the tables on his interviewer by suggesting it is the establishment media that eschews unifying messages.

“You take a look at the bills we pass out of the House … over 80 percent of them are bipartisan bills. So we’ve tackled opioids. We’ve tackled human trafficking. We’ve rebuilt the military. All of those are bipartisan. But they don’t get reported. It — it doesn’t sell.”

Ryan said Trump also promotes these issues at rallies, thus promoting national unity.

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