Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE's criticism of a judge because of his ethnicity are "the textbook definition of racist comments," Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) said Tuesday during an event on poverty in Washington D.C.
"I regret these comments that he made," Ryan said. "I think that should be absolutely disavowed."
Reporters bombarded Ryan, who also criticized the remarks last week, with questions about Trump at an event intended to discuss solutions for poverty as part of the House GOP policy agenda.
"I think they're wrong. I don't think they're right-headed," the Speaker, who endorsed Trump for president last week, said of the remarks.
The presumptive GOP nominee has repeatedly accused Judge Gonzalo Curiel of bias in a case against Trump University because he is of Mexican descent. Ryan later called the comments "indefensible" but did not rescind his endorsement.
The flurry of questions about Trump highlights the challenge faced by Ryan and other GOP leaders, who are backing Trump as their nominee but seeing his controversies crowd out their efforts to talk policy.
Ryan repeatedly said Tuesday that he was backing Trump because he believes the nation is far better off with the Republican nominee than Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book MORE as president.
He said the poverty reform proposals discussed on Tuesday would be more likely to become law in a Trump administration.
Ryan also made a plea for unity, saying the party would be “doomed to fail” if it is divided in November. He said it is more likely that GOP ideas will become law if Republicans are unified.