Ryan: Trump’s Judge Attacks ‘The Textbook Definition Of A Racist Comment’

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that he wouldn’t defend presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s attacks on a federal judge’s ethnicity because they were “indefensible.”

“Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment,” Ryan said at a news conference. “I think that should be absolutely disavowed.”

But, Ryan said that Republicans would still be better off with Trump in the White House than Hillary Clinton.

“I’m not going to defend these kinds of comments because they’re indefensible,” Ryan said. “I’m going to defend our ideas. I’m going to defend our majority.”

Trump had said that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over cases against Trump University in California, has a conflict of interest because of his “Mexican heritage.” The businessman has railed against Hispanics since he launched his campaign, when he infamously stated that some undocumented immigrants were “rapists” and “criminals.”

“I think it’s wrong,” Ryan said. “The way I look at this is if you say something that’s wrong, I think the mature and responsible thing is to acknowledge it was wrong.”

Ryan’s comments on Tuesday are much stronger than they were last week. A day after Ryan endorsed Trump, the House Speaker said the real estate mogul’s comments were “totally out of left field.”

Here’s video of Ryan’s comment:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Jerde is a newswriter based in New York. Her bylines have appeared in The Star-Ledger, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Columbus Dispatch. She graduated from Ohio University. Send emails to sara@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow her @SaraJerde.

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