House Speaker Paul Ryan appears to have finally come around on Donald Trump. The Wisconsin Republican tweeted a link to a news story Thursday revealing that he intends to vote for Trump, who secured enough delegates last week to secure the presidential nomination.
"It’s no secret that he and I have our differences. I won’t pretend otherwise," Ryan wrote in an oped printed online by the Gazette newspaper of his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin. "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."
Ryan added that he and other House GOP leaders planned to soon reveal a package of proposals that would "address the American people's top priorities," among them national security and health care. He said he realized he needed a Republican president who would make them law, which made him hesitant about Trump.
Discussions with the billionaire eventually changed Ryan's mind.
"Donald Trump and I have talked at great length about things such as the proper role of the executive and fundamental principles such as the protection of life. ... But the House policy agenda has been the main focus of our dialogue," the speaker said. "We’ve talked about the common ground this agenda can represent. ... We’ve talked about how important these reforms are to saving our country. And we’ve talked about how, by focusing on issues that unite Republicans, we can work together to heal the fissures developed through the primary."
The announcement, which came while Democrat Hillary Clinton was delivering a major foreign policy speech and savaging Trump Thursday afternoon, lit up the Twitterverse almost immediately. Ryan's spokesman Brendan Buck told his followers to "feel free to call it an endorsement." Meanwhile, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., wrote that Ryan "showed real leadership in patiently working through key issues" before giving Trump the seal of approval.
"House Republicans are helping shape that Republican vision by offering a bold policy agenda, by offering a better way ahead," Ryan concluded in his editorial. "Donald Trump can help us make it a reality."
Read Ryan's piece in full here.