Donald Trump today refused to support Paul Ryan or John McCain in their respective primaries, despite the fact that both men endorsed him for president, saying that despite their support, he’s not sure that they should be elected again.
If Trump were punishing Ryan for taking too long to endorse him this summer, it’s hard to think of a more brutal and effective own.
Using the same language Ryan did when he was stalling for time back in May—“I’m not there yet,”—Trump declined to endorse Ryan, who is up for a primary reelection in Wisconsin.
“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country,” Trump told the Washington Post today. “We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”
Trump also declined to endorse John McCain, who sucked it up and endorsed Trump in May.
“I’ve never been there with John McCain because I’ve always felt that he should have done a much better job for the vets,” Trump said. “He has not done a good job for the vets and I’ve always felt that he should have done a much better job for the vets. So I’ve always had a difficult time with John for that reason, because our vets are not being treated properly. They’re not being treated fairly.”
In unrelated news, McCain issued a statement this weekend rebuking Trump for his comments about Khizr Kahn, who arguably humiliated Trump in a speech last week at the Democratic National Convention. A coincidence, probably. It’s almost like endorsing Trump in the first place was a mistake...
On its face, it seems Trump might be exacting revenge on both men, who only reluctantly and begrudgingly endorsed Trump for the “unity” of the party and the off-chance he does win. But in actuality, they may be dodging a bullet. So far this campaign, Trump has endorsed one Congressional candidate: Renee Ellmers, who ran in North Carolina. She lost by 30 points.
Update 6:08 p.m.
Paul Ryan totally didn’t want his endorsement anyway?
JUST IN from Ryan camp: "Neither Speaker Ryan nor anyone on his team has ever asked for Donald Trump's endorsement." pic.twitter.com/dQ8mqUbZDQ— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 2, 2016