On Wednesday, the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump escalated his attacks on Paul Ryan, the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker thereby deepening a fracture in the party with only four weeks left in the November 8 presidential elections. Attending a rally before supporters numbered in thousands at a livestock arena in Ocala, Florida, the Republican candidate also tried to convince the voters not to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton. He gave a very negative speech in which he described his rival as unqualified for presidency and corrupt. On Monday, Ryan had said that he wasn’t going to defend Trump or campaign for him any longer and also advised the House Republicans not to support him if they didn’t wish to do so.
His move came as a result of an outcry over a video that came to light last Friday which shows Trump back in 2005 when he was bragging about making unwanted sexual advances towards women and groping them. Ryan is the most senior elected Republican in the country. His abandonment has caused Trump to veer between saying he is now free to campaign on his own terms and he is assailing ‘disloyal’ Republicans like Ryan. On Wednesday, the New York businessman said that the Republican candidate was put at a huge disadvantage when leaders don’t put their weight behind him.
He complained that Ryan and other leaders had not called to congratulate him after he had given a strong performance at the second presidential debate against Hilary Clinton on Sunday. He said that they should have supported him, but they hadn’t, which meant that there was something else going on and he was going to figure it out. Trump had already been lagging behind Clinton in opinion polls, but he had been drawing closer. However, the release of the video ended up jeopardizing his chances of winning the White House.
The entire Republican party has been plunged into a deep crisis since then and their control of the U.S. Congress is now also in danger. Some House Republicans complained to Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway that his criticism of the House Speaker was distracting from his message that Hilary Clinton was not fit to sit in the White House. She convened a conference call with House Republicans supporting Trump for over an hour. A congressional aide said that she had made a list of differences between the Republican and Democratic candidate and had discussed how Trump could make a case against Clinton.
The aide said that the theme of the comments was that Trump should distinguish his message from that of Clinton. It was further said that the members were unhappy with Trump’s attacks on Ryan as they were distracting him from Hilary. They were frustrated at Trump for attacking a fellow Republican. Nonetheless, Ryan himself has had to deal with a lot of blowback from his fellow House Republicans after he announced that he would be focusing on electing Republicans in Congress. There are mixed opinions regarding Trump in the Republican party.