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.”
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)
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.