Speaker Paul Ryan Calls for Party Unity at Republican Convention, But Shies Away from Trump Mentions

Ryan called for Republicans to unite against Hillary Clinton.

— -- House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, urged his party to unite against Hillary Clinton, downplaying the intra-party disputes of the GOP primary process as "signs of life," but mentioning Trump only twice in his prime-time address.

Ryan called on Republicans to support a reform agenda in a year that voters in both parties want a "clean break from a failed system."

"What does the Democratic Party establishment offer? What is their idea of a clean break? They are offering a third Obama term, brought to you by another Clinton," he said.

Ryan, who has worked for months to keep Republicans together behind a controversial nominee he’s repeatedly criticized, called for Republicans to make 2016 a referendum on President Obama's leadership.

Progressives, he argued, "deliver everything except progress."

"Only under Donald Trump and Mike Pence do we have a chance at a better way," he said.

Ryan’s delicate balancing act was on full display in June, when -- not even a week after quietly endorsing Trump in his hometown paper following a month of indecision -- he forcefully rebuked Trump’s attacks against a federal judge.

He also accused Democrats of playing identity politics, and predicted that next week's Democratic convention would be a "four-day infomercial of politically correct moralizing."

"Let the other party go on and on with its constant dividing up of people," he said, pressing Republicans to expand their reach.

"Real social progress is always a widening of the circle of concern and protection."

Ryan, who has praised Trump’s performance in the GOP primary, has described the election as a “binary choice” between Trump and Clinton, and argued that any effort that doesn’t help Trump will contribute to a Clinton victory in November.

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