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Paul Ryan Has Had It Up To Here With Donald Trump's Racism

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 1/03/2016 Matt Fuller

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) broke his 2016 silence Tuesday to take the oh-so-controversial position that Republicans running for president -- read: Donald Trump -- should maybe denounce the Ku Klux Klan and its former leaders who endorse him.

With polls open in 13 states today, Ryan said candidates and voters should be having a "serious debate" about policy. "Instead the conversation over the last few days has been about white supremacist groups," he said, referring to Trump's refusal to denounce former KKK leader David Duke, who has endorsed Trump for president.

Ryan noted that he has tried to stay out of the day to day of the 2016 race. He previously broke his silence when Trump announced his Muslim travel ban proposal, and he has repeatedly insisted that he will support the GOP nominee, whoever it is -- even though, you know, Ryan seems to think one of those candidates is a racist xenophobe. (His staff confirmed to The Huffington Post that Ryan's position on supporting the nominee has not changed.)

But Ryan said he had to speak out when he sees "something that runs counter to who we are as a party and as a country."

"If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games," he said. "They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry."

Ryan continued on to say that Republicans should not "prey on people's prejudices."

"We appeal to their highest ideals," he said. "This is the party of Lincoln. We believe all people are created equal in the eyes of God and our government."

Ryan said that point was fundamental. "And if someone wants to be our nominee, they must understand this," he said.

Ryan said he hoped this was the last time he'd have to comment on the 2016 race, but given Trump's popularity and willingness to embrace racist politics for political gain, it's probably not.

Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynistbirther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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