US Election 2016

Trump endorses House Speaker in bid for unity

He also supports two senators' re-elections after chaotic week

Mr Trump is trying to move past a tumultuous week that began with him disparaging a slain soldier's family.
Mr Trump is trying to move past a tumultuous week that began with him disparaging a slain soldier's family.

GREEN BAY (Wisconsin) • Mr Donald Trump belatedly endorsed the re-elections of Speaker Paul Ryan and Senators John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, moving to heal a deepening rift within the Republican Party touched off by Mr Trump's feud with the parents of a slain United States soldier.

"I support and endorse our Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan," Mr Trump said. "He's a good man. We may disagree on a couple of things, but mostly we agree."

He had ignited a controversy within his party on Tuesday when he said he was not "quite there yet" in supporting Mr Ryan, echoing a similar line of doubt that Mr Ryan, the nation's most powerful elected Republican, had cast before eventually endorsing Mr Trump for president.

The endorsement on Friday in Mr Ryan's home state had the roll-out of a carefully crafted campaign event. A fundraising e-mail was sent to supporters immediately after Mr Trump's announcement.

Moments later, subscribers to Trump campaign texts received an alert that said, "Party unity will help Make America Great Again".

  • Harvard Republican Club rejects Trump as 'threat' to US

  • NEW YORK • Mr Donald Trump's references to Harvard University often imply that he considers it a paragon of education, but his fellow Republicans there do not share the same fondness for him.

    In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the Harvard Republican Club called the Republican presidential nominee a "threat to the survival of the Republic" who "simply does not possess the temperament and character necessary to lead the United States through an increasingly perilous world".

    The some 800-word critique continued: "His authoritarian tendencies and flirtations with fascism are unparalleled in the history of our democracy. He hopes to divide us by race, by class and by religion, instilling enough fear and anxiety to propel himself to the White House."

    The club, founded in 1888, calls itself "the oldest college Republican organisation in the nation".

    In a poll held last week, 80 per cent of the club's members said they would not support Mr Trump, with 10 per cent saying they would and another 10 per cent undecided, according to the Harvard Crimson newspaper.


In his speech, he threw his support to Ms Ayotte, who is facing a tight race in New Hampshire to retain her Senate seat.

Mr Ryan and Mr McCain, the Arizona senator, are also up for re- election, beginning with primaries this week.

"I need a Republican Senate and a House to accomplish all of the change we have to make," Mr Trump said.

He added: "I understand and embrace the wisdom of (former US president) Ronald Reagan's big tent within the party."

With the speech, Mr Trump sought to move past a tumultuous week that began with his disparaging members of a Gold Star military family that had spoken out against him at the Democratic National Convention.

Mr Trump's remarks drew rebukes from many Republicans, including Mr Ryan, Mr McCain and Ms Ayotte. On Friday, Mr Trump also unveiled an economic team that is a mirror image of the candidate and his campaign. The members are mostly outside the Republican, Wall Street and academic establishments, and they are all men.

The line-up is heavy on ageing billionaires who run their own enterprises - just like Mr Trump - and includes financiers John Paulson, Andy Beal and Stephen Feinberg.

Economists David Malpass, Peter Navarro and Stephen Moore are also listed as advisers.

"There's been this divide between the establishment Republicans and the Trump candidacy," said Mr Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the Washington-based American Action Forum and a former adviser to Mr McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. "It's reflected in the advisers. You don't have the standard list of establishment conservatives."

The announcement of his advisers comes ahead of a speech tomorrow to the Detroit Economic Club that could help Mr Trump refocus his campaign after a string of feuds and missteps was capped on Thursday by post-convention polls showing him trailing Mrs Hillary Clinton.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 07, 2016, with the headline 'Trump endorses House Speaker in bid for unity'. Print Edition | Subscribe