Ever since Ryan endorsed, Trump has been making racist attacks against the American-born Hispanic judge who is overseeing a class action lawsuit against Trump University in California. Trump has doubled and tripled down on the attacks—and has ordered his surrogates to do the same—even though he has no support inside the Republican Party on the issue. Many of Trump’s closest allies, including Newt Gingrich, have condemned his remarks, which means that Capitol Hill Republicans—many of whom will be up for reelection in the fall—are beside themselves. The Democrats are taking this controversy national, revealing a strategy to saddle every Republican across the country with Trump’s antics.
Politico reports that Trump’s attacks on the judge “are sapping any goodwill [Trump] had accumulated in private meetings and phone calls with congressional Republicans.” Which brings us back to Paul Ryan. If Ryan hadn’t endorsed Trump literally the day before he began his racist rampage, he would have had some leverage in getting him to stop. But Ryan wasted all his political capital by tying his fate to Trump’s. When Ryan finally spoke out against Trump’s comments, he just sounded tired: “[H]e clearly says and does things I don’t agree with, and I’ve had to speak up on time to time when that has occurred, and I’ll continue to do that if it’s necessary. I hope it’s not.” At this point, all Ryan can do is hope.