By the time House Speaker Paul Ryan finally backed Donald Trump on June 2, the polls showed Trump and Hillary Clinton in a virtual tie. Clinton was still fending off a Democratic primary challenge from Bernie Sanders while Trump was slowly uniting a fractured Republican Party once his final challengers dropped out in early May.
How things changed in just one week.
Trump has been pilloried by opponents and supporters for what has been called racist comments about a judge presiding over a lawsuit involving Trump University. Trump has said the judge, Gonzalo Curiel, could not be impartial because of “his Mexican heritage.”
Five days after his endorsement, Ryan had to distance himself from Trump’s comments, saying it is the “textbook definition of racist.” But Ryan has not withdrawn his endorsement of Trump.
Trump has tried to defuse the controversy, saying the comments were “misconstrued”, but several Republicans are calling on him to apologize and retract his comments. Democrats will continue their attacks on Trump as a racist.
Will Trump’s head start on unifying his party wither under the weight of the candidate’s own words?
Paul Ryan’s Endorsement of Donald Trump Isn’t Just a Mistake, It’s an Embarrassment
Jonah Goldberg – Los Angeles Times
In throwing his support to Trump, Ryan made two mistakes. The first was tactical.
Because Trump did nothing to earn Ryan’s endorsement, the presumptive nominee may conclude that he needn’t negotiate with the GOP establishment, he can just count on its eventual submission.
Ryan also jeopardized the party’s long game.
Trump often proves conservatism’s harshest critics right. For example, the left says conservatives support “wars for oil.” Trump says that “taking the oil” of Iraq and Libya should be a top priority.
Trump’s Victory Speech Should Give Democrats Reason to Worry
John Judis – Talking Points Memo
He framed the election in classic populist terms: “I’m going to be America’s champion because you see this election isn’t about Republican or Democrat; it’s about who runs this country – the special interests or the people and I mean the American people….”
He also used the slogan of “America First” to link his opposition to illegal immigration, but on economic rather than cultural rounds: “America First means protecting the jobs, wages and security of American workers, whether first or tenth generation….”
[I]nstead of attacking Clinton for her relationship with her husband – and some other sordid irrelevance – he honed in on where Clinton is most vulnerable: “The Clintons have turned the politics of personal enrichment into an art form for themselves….”
Trump’s Outrageous Attack on Judge Curiel
Ian Tuttle – National Review
The problem with Donald Trump, though (let me rephrase: one of the inexhaustibly many problems) is that his personal beefs become the ideological framework for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans. In this latest instance, for example, Trump has implied that no law can be interpreted disinterestedly and applied dispassionately. There’s really no such thing as reason; there are only inescapable tribal prejudices. Because his parents were from Mexico, Gonzalo Curiel is always going to be loyal first and foremost to Mexico, so he will never be able to render a fair decision on anything involving Donald Trump.
What follows from that is the effective end of the Anglo-Saxon legal tradition. Consider: Who could rule in Trump’s case? Trump has strong opinions about Chinese product-dumping, so it couldn’t be a judge whose family came from China. It couldn’t be a black judge, because that judge would obviously be opposed to the candidate who flirted with the Ku Klux Klan. And — to push the thought further — what single judge could fulfill Trump’s ludicrous criteria when applied to the nearly 7,000 former students who are plaintiffs in this case?