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Ryan pushes conservative governing majority, but mentions Trump just twice

CLEVELAND — Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBoehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be Cruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director 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 TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee 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 BidenThe West needs a more collaborative approach to Taiwan Abbott's medical advisers were not all consulted before he lifted Texas mask mandate House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act MORE and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHere's who Biden is now considering for budget chief Pentagon issues report revealing ex-White House doctor 'belittled' subordinates, violated alcohol policies The Reagan era is over MORE will be. But you’ll find me right there on the rostrum with Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC Trump talking to allies about 2024 run without Pence: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington on high alert as QAnon theory marks March 4 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.