U.S. allies in the Middle East, including in Israel, commended House Speaker Paul Ryan for speaking out against Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration, Ryan told reporters Thursday.
“When you see our beliefs, our values – and conservatism’s principles – being disfigured, you have to speak out,” Ryan said, according to Yahoo News. “People over there knew about it and thanked me for doing it.”
After Trump floated the idea of banning all Muslim immigration to the country, Ryan slammed the proposal, saying “it’s not what this country stands for” in one of his first public rebukes of the party’s frontrunner.
In the breakfast session to talk about his first trip to the region since assuming the speakership, Ryan also drew a contrast between his vision for the Middle East and Obama’s, but declared, “I am not a neocon.”
He went on to say the U.S. should seek to reassure its allies without “kicking over dictators and putting boots on the ground.”
“Our allies are concerned that America is experiencing Middle East lethargy… Middle East fatigue,” Ryan said.