Ryan pushes conservative governing majority, but mentions Trump just twice

CLEVELAND — Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTo cut poverty and solve the labor shortage, enhance the Earned Income Tax Credit Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans RealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump MORE (R-Wis.) implored Republicans to unify ahead of the November elections in an address before the party’s convention that only mentioned Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE by name twice.

Ryan has long made clear his discomfort with Trump, who officially clinched the nomination on the Republican National Convention’s second night just more than an hour before the Speaker delivered his prime-time speech.

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And on Tuesday night, Ryan urged his party to turn out in November so that the GOP can win control of the White House and Congress.

Yet he did so largely by adhering to conservative policy platitudes and presenting the GOP as a force of change after eight years under President Obama — and not with a rousing speech for Trump.

“This year of surprises and dramatic turns can end in the finest possible way – when America elects a conservative governing majority,” Ryan said. “We can do this, we can earn that mandate, if we don’t hold anything back, if we never lose sight of the stakes, if we never lose sight of what's on the table.”

The Speaker also offered nods to tensions within the GOP during the primary process.

“Have we had our arguments this year? Sure we have. You know what I call those? Signs of life. Signs of a party that’s not just going through the motions. Not just mouthing new words for the same old stuff,” Ryan said. 

“Meanwhile, what choice has the other party made, in this incredible year filled with so many surprises?” he asked. “They are offering a third Obama term, brought to you by another Clinton. And we’re supposed to be excited about that?

“Next time there’s a State of the Union address, I don’t know where Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries FDA aims to give full approval to Pfizer vaccine by Labor Day: report Overnight Defense: Police officer killed in violence outside Pentagon | Biden officials back repeal of Iraq War authorization | NSC pushed to oversee 'Havana Syndrome' response MORE and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaAzar regrets Trump didn't get vaccinated on national TV Franklin D. Roosevelt's prescient warning Harris 'root causes' immigration plan faces challenges MORE will be. But you’ll find me right there on the rostrum with Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceOfficers' powerful Capitol riot testimony underscores Pelosi's partisan blunder RealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Want to improve vaccine rates? Ask for this endorsement MORE and President Donald Trump,” Ryan said.

“Only with Donald Trump and Mike Pence do we have a chance at a better way,” he said near the speech’s conclusion.  

Ryan is serving as the chairman of the GOP convention this week, giving him a role over Trump’s coronation.

At a Wall Street Journal lunch on Monday, Ryan acknowledged that Trump is conservative, but said the real estate mogul is “not my kind of conservative.”

The two differ on a number of policies, including recent free-trade deals.

The Speaker has taken Trump to task on multiple occasions over the last year.

He condemned Trump for proposing to ban Muslims from the U.S., being slow to disavow support from a white supremacist, failing to quell violence at campaign rallies and attacking a federal judge for his Hispanic ethnicity.

That culminated in Ryan finding himself in the position of overseeing Trump's convention and delivering a prime-time address embracing the nominee this week.