Ryan stump­ing for House GOP but not for Trump

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Alan Fram

CH­ESTER SPRINGS, PA. >> For Paul Ryan, Oc­to­ber is now all about pro­tect­ing the Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity of the House — and his own job as speaker.

The Wis­con­sin Repub­li­can can’t ig­nore Don­ald Trump, his party’s bull-in-a-china-shop pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. Nor can he of­fend Trump’s mil­lions of vot­ers, whom many House GOP can­di­dates need to sur­vive next month’s elec­tions. Yet amid the remarkable spec­ta­cle of the party’s White House nominee and its high­est elected of­fi­cial prac­ti­cally at war, Ryan says he’s not go­ing to lift a fin­ger for Trump or even be seen with him.

In­stead, Ryan will fo­cus “his en­tire en­ergy mak­ing sure that Hil­lary Clin­ton does not get a blank check” with a Demo­cratic Congress if she’s elected pres­i­dent. He made that com­ment dur­ing a con­fer­ence call with House GOP law­mak­ers Mon­day, ac­cord­ing to some­one on the call.

A day be­fore last Fri­day’s re­lease of a 2005 video show­ing Trump mak­ing vul­gar boasts about forc­ing him­self on women, Ryan made two cam­paign stops in eastern Penn­syl­va­nia in which he never spoke the words “Don­ald Trump.” That dra­ma­tized how Ryan is try­ing to guide House can­di­dates through rocky po­lit­i­cal wa­ters Trump has roiled with reg­u­lar­ity.

“We see our­selves in the House as of­fer­ing ideas and so­lu­tions, kind of adding a rud­der and a keel to our party,” Ryan said stand­ing along­side the lo­cal GOP con­gress­man at J-Tech USA, all but sug­gest­ing that such sub­stance and sta­bil­ity was lack­ing atop the ticket. The com­pany services trucks for high­way crews.

Ryan was sched­uled to spend this week tend­ing to po­lit­i­cal events in his home state. He then re­sumes a fever­ish coast-to-coast ef­fort to de­fend GOP con­trol of the House, a tour that was sched­uled to cover at least 17 states and 42 cities and might grow.

Repub­li­cans have been fa­vored to re­tain House con­trol in Novem­ber’s vot­ing, with Democrats need­ing to gain 30 seats to take charge of the 435-mem­ber cham­ber. But Demo­cratic hopes have grown — and GOP nerves have been fraz­zled — after two weeks of po­lit­i­cally seis­mic set­backs for Trump, capped by the Trump video.

In Mon­day’s con­fer­ence call, jumpy House Repub­li­cans heard Ore­gon Rep. Greg Walden, who heads their cam­paign or­ga­ni­za­tion, say the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion was de­te­ri­o­rat­ing for the GOP, es­pe­cially among women, ac­cord­ing to two peo­ple on the call. Walden urged them to poll fre­quently and warned that the path to vic­tory for can­di­dates in tight races re­sem­bled land­ing a plane in the fog with a hur­ri­cane blow­ing.

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