Trump, Ryan meet for first time since historic win
(CNN) — Just days ago, Paul Ryan was campaigning for the Republican ticket but barely mentioning Donald Trump’s name.
Now he’s putting his differences behind them and embracing the President-elect at a midday meeting on Capitol Hill to chart out plans to help him enact a sweeping conservative agenda.
Trump, Ryan and incoming vice president, Mike Pence, ate lunch at the Capitol Hill Club, and the three then headed to the Speaker’s Office for a meeting. Ryan rolled out the red carpet for Trump, inviting him to his Capitol office which overlooks the Washington monument and the platform under construction where he will be sworn in as the 45th president.
The sit-down came at a crucial time for both men. Trump is coming from a historic hand-off meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, preparing to take the reins and roll back some of the signature accomplishments put in place after eight years of a Democrat holding the highest office.
Ryan is still under fire from fellow Republicans for his decision not to defend the his party’s presidential nominee after leaked video tapes surfaced, showing him making graphic comments about women. Even before that he broke with Trump on several occasions. Ryan faces a vote next Tuesday to keep his job as speaker and appears in good position to keep his gavel. But an enthusiastic vote of confidence from the President-elect could help smooth over ill feelings within the party and ward off any potential protest vote against him.
Pence is a friend and former colleague from his time serving in the House as representative from Indiana. The meeting, at the Capitol Hill Club just off the campus of the US Capitol was the first face-to-face get together since the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, although the speaker noted Wednesday he spoke twice with Trump since he was declared the winner.
The speaker, just like most everyone else in official Washington, was surprised by the reality star turned candidate’s upset Tuesday, but was quick to give him credit for tapping into a sentiment other politicians didn’t appear to grasp.
“Donald Trump heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard. He connected with — he connected in ways with people no one else did. He turned politics on its head and now Donald trump will lead a unified Republican government,” Ryan said Wednesday in a news conference in his Wisconsin home town.
Ryan also said Trump helped GOP candidates across the country get elected and declared he “earned a mandate.”
Along with the presidential victory, Republicans maintained their control over both chambers in Congress.
While Trump didn’t lay out many specific policy details during his campaign, Ryan worked diligently on a platform, dubbed “A Better Way,” for the GOP nominee to use. It includes major plans to overhaul the tax code, repeal and replace Obamacare, scale back government regulations, address poverty and strengthen the military.