Ryan: Trump 'not my kind of conservative'

CLEVELAND — Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Budowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey Democratic super PAC quotes Reagan in anti-Trump ad set to air on Fox News: 'Are you better off?' MORE, the chairman of the GOP convention here, said Monday he believes that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE is a conservative, just “not my kind of conservative.”

"But I come from a different part and wing of the party,” the Wisconsin Republican said at a Wall Street Journal lunch in downtown Cleveland just as the Republican National Convention kicked off.

“I think he is a conservative,” Ryan said of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. “There are different kinds of conservatives, that’s for darn sure.”

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Ryan and Trump have had their differences throughout the 2016 campaign cycle. The Speaker, who was the party's vice presidential nominee in 2012, has rejected some of Trump’s more extreme statements and positions: Ryan called Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration “unconstitutional,” blasted his attacks on a Mexican-American judge as “racist,” and chided the candidate for refusing to quickly disavow support from a white supremacist.

Still, Ryan said that did not disqualify Trump from being considered a conservative.

“I think he is a conservative because of his experiences, but is he what we refer to as a movement conservative? ... No, because he didn’t come up that way,” Ryan told about 25 reporters at during an invitation-only lunch at the Calfee Building in downtown Cleveland.

“I know a lot of business leaders who are conservatives, who arrive at their conservatism through their own path in life, not through studying the classics of conservatism.”

On several occasions, Ryan praised Trump for picking Indiana Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Students at school system Pence called 'forefront' of reopening now in quarantine Presidential debates demonstrate who has what it takes MORE as his running mate, saying the decision represented Trump’s attempt to “bridge the gap” between different kinds of conservatives.

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Pence, who served 12 years with Ryan in the House, is a “happy warrior” and “principled conservative,” the Speaker said.

“This choice of a running mate was good judgment.”

Ryan is set to speak at the convention on Tuesday and will focus his remarks on the House GOP's election-year policy agenda. Earlier Monday, Ryan privately toured a drug-rehabilitation center in Elyria, Ohio, highlighting a central plank of his agenda: fighting poverty.