House Speaker Paul Ryan Briefs Reporters on Meeting with Donald Trump CSPAN May 12, 2016 8:01pm-8:15pm EDT
his meeting with republican presidential candidate donald trump was productive, but would not say if he is endorsing mr. trump. speaker ryan spoke to reporters at his weekly meeting at the capital. speaker ryan: good afternoon -- excuse me, good morning. right now, more americans die every year from drug overdoses than they do in car accidents. let me say that again. we have got more of our fellow citizens dying every year from drug overdoses than they do of car accidents. today, the house continues to work on legislation to address the heroin and opioid epidemic across this country. for those of you who were at our press conference yesterday, you heard from susan brooks and bob dold, authors of two of these initiatives. all told, by the end of this week, we are acting on 18 bills
to deal with this. i'll actually be signing one of them today, s. 32, transnational drug trafficking act. this allows prosecutors to go after drug traffickers in foreign countries, if we believe their drugs will make it to our shores. so, that is going to the president's desk today. but one reason we call this a epidemic is because it cuts across all demographics. it affects families everywhere in america. take youth athletes. these athletes get injured, and then they are prescribed medication. before they know it, they are on the path to dependency and addiction. yesterday, we passed a bill that introduced by pat meehan of pennsylvania to help families and students deal with these dangers. you can also be born with a dependency. this is the saddest of them all. that actually happens every 25 minutes in this country. these babies struggle to eat or even breathe. yesterday, we passed a bill introduced by representative
jenkins of west virginia to help protect infants. the next step here is that we'll take all of these bills we are passing out of the house and go to a conference committee with the senate. then, we intend to send the bill to the president's desk. and i hope each and every one of you will be back here, when we sign this bill. this opioid epidemic is something we have to get on top of. i'm very proud of the republicans and democrats that have come together to address this situation, because it is really about people's lives. it is about whole communities that are being torn apart. and i believe we can win this fight, and we must. questions? chad. reporter: i have been reading the joint statement you and mr. trump put out a couple minutes ago. i know it is the first meeting. but there is a lot out of this statement, that you just want to be hillary clinton. speaker ryan: that is true. reporter: that can't be the only point of unity. you are having trouble passing the budget here in the house. what makes you think you can get onboard with some of the things donald trump is talking about.
when it comes the policy -- ryan: i think we had an encouraging meeting. look, it's no secret that donald trump and i had our differences. we talked about those differences today. that's common knowledge. the question is, what do we need to do to unify the republican party and strains of conservative wings in the party? we had a very good and encouraging productive conversation on just how to do that. it was important that we discuss our differences that we have, but it's also important that we discussed the core principles that tie us all together. principles like the constitution, the separation of powers, and the fact that we have an executive that has gone way beyond the boundaries of the constitution, and how it's important to us that we restore article 1 of the constitution. it's the principle of self-government. we talked about life, and how strongly we feel about this core principle. we talked about the supreme court, and things like this. i was very encouraged with what i heard from donald trump today. i do believe that we are now planting the seeds to get
ourselves unified, to bridge the gaps and differences, and so from here, we are going to go deeper into the policy areas to see where that common ground and how we can make sure that we are operating off the same core principles. and so, yes, our first meeting. i was very encouraged with this meeting, but this is a process. it takes a little time. you don't put it together in 45 minutes. so, that is why we had, like i said, a very good start to a process how we unify. reporter: you don't think it's an issue of -- speaker ryan: jonathan. reporter: i read that statement as well. and i'm still a little confused. are you endorsing donald trump? if you're not, what is holding you back? and do you really have a choice? i mean, if you're not voting for hillary clinton -- speaker ryan: the process of unifying the republican party, which just finished a primary about a week ago, perhaps one of the most divisive primaries in memory, takes some time. look, there are people who are for donald trump, ted cruz, or
john kasich, marco rubio, and everybody else. it's very important that we don't fake unifying, we don't pretend unification, that we truly and actually unify, so that we are full strength in the fall. i don't want us to have a fake unification process here. i want to make sure that we really, truly understand each other, and that we are committed to the conservative principles that make the republican party, that built this country, and again, i'm very encouraged. i heard a lot of good things from our presumptive nominee, and we exchanged differences of opinion on a number of things that, you know, everybody knows we have. there are policy disputes that we will have. there's no two ways about it. plenty of republicans disagree with one another on policy disputes. but on core principles, those are the things we discussed. craig? reporter: do you expect to endorse him? speaker ryan: yeah, i think this is going in a positive
direction. i think this is the first very encouraging meeting. again, in 45 minutes you don't litigate all of the process and issues and principles that we are talking about. i didn't catch that. reporter: yeah, can you offer any assurances he would change or moderate his tone on the campaign? speaker ryan: i think it's important that the kind of conversation we had is between the two of us. no offense, i don't want to litigate our conversation through the media, because i think when you're beginning to get to know someone, you have a good conversation of trust between each other. so, i want to keep the things we discussed between the two of us because they were very important and they were personal, in some senses. that means we talked about what it takes to unify, where our differences were, and how we can bridge these gaps going forward , so that we are strong as a party, going into the fall. reporter: did mr. trump reiterate his desire to you as the chairman of the convention, in cleveland, and is that a role you still want? speaker ryan: i am the speaker of the house. i a happy to serve in this capacity at the chair of our
convention, if our nominee wants us to do so. it's the delegates make that decision, but i would honor the decision of our presumptive nominee. he did express that interest. reporter: what extent what he said today do you think he's committed to -- what did you think of his personality? ryan: his personality? i thought it was very good personality. he's a very warm and genuine person. like i said, i met him for 30 seconds in 2012. we really don't know each other. and we started to get to know each other. i actually had a very pleasant exchange with him. that's point number one. point number two, look, there are just things we really believe in as conservatives. we believe in limited government. we believe in the constitution. we believe in the proper role of the differences in the separation of powers. we believe in things like life. i know we are -- not everyone is pro-choice in our party. and we accept all comers. but we are a majority pro-life party.
and these are things that are important to us. so, we had a good exchange of views on these issues. i think he's having the same conversation with the right now. our leaders met with him and everybody expressed opinions and exchanged ideas. and so, the point of this is, i think we are off to an encouraging start. it is important that we get ourselves to full strength, so we can win in the fall because the stakes could not be higher. it takes more than 45 minutes. reporter: you're someone who has committed -- speaker ryan: we use discussed -- we discussed those issues at great detail. reporter: mr. speaker, you have defined modern conservatism along the lines of entitlement reform, pro-trade, and immigration built on the muslim ban and dealing with the issue comprehensively, those who are not. you say few problems. aren't you papering over these rather sizable differences in not only how conservatism is defined broadly, but how you have tried to define it? with this house conference? speaker ryan: i am a wing of the conservative party, you could
say he's bringing a whole new wing. he's bringing new voters we never had, for decades. which is a positive thing. the point is can we agree on the common core principle that is unite all of us? we will have policy disputes. there is no two ways about that. all republicans -- mitt romney and i didn't agree on everything in 2012. so, we will have policy disputes. i'm not interested in litigating the past. i'm interested in going forward and seeing where that common ground exists, to make sure we have a unified republican party that, yes, there will be different republicans that have different views on various policy ideas. the question is, can we unify on common core principles that make our party -- by the way, the principle that has built this country. i'm very encouraged that the answer to my -- reporter: do you intend to -- reporter: you just mentioned the millions of new voters. that he's bringing in new people. i was wondering how you actually
interpret his success. is it going to mean the -- fundamental realignment of the party, because of these new voters that he's bringing in? just how do you interpret his success? speaker ryan: it's in pair, he has gotten more votes than any republican primary nominee in the history of our country. and this isn't even over yet. he hasn't gone to california yet. it's really a remarkable achievement. so, the question is, and this is what we think we can be a party to helping, unify it all, this is really a big and growing movement. how do we keep adding and adding voters, while not subtracting any voters? and to me, that means a positive vision, based on core principles, taking those principles, applying them to the problems facing our country today, and offering people positive solutions. and speaking to people where they are in life. addressing their anxieties, and show that we have a better plan. look, here's what we agree on.
a hillary clinton presidency would be a disaster for this country. it's effectively a third obama term. and the other thing we all know is, most americans do not like where this country is headed. seven out of 10 americans think america is on the wrong track. we agree with that. so, the question is, can we unify around a common principles to offer the country a compelling and clear choice and agenda, going forward, so that the men and women of this nation get a real and honest choice about how to fix this country and get us on a better track? and i am very encouraged that we can put that together. one more in the back. reporter: thanks for calling us. speaker ryan: you got here late. reporter: after your statement last week on cnn donald trump not ready towere
support your agenda. did he change his mind today? does he say he's supportive of that? speaker ryan: we talked about all these issues. and our policy teams are meeting to just walkthrough details. again, this is a process. we just began the process. i'm very encouraged at the first meeting of this process. and going forward, we are going to go deeper into the policy weeds to make sure we have a better understanding of one another. thank you very much, everybody. announcer: congressman reid ribble represents wisconsin's eighth district. which represents green bay. he has called donald trump a carnival, and that he cannot be trusted. he is joining us on capitol hill. thanks for joining us. ryan,e meeting with paul did it anyway change your opinions? mr. ribble: my issues with
donald trump have less to do with policy. i certainly have policy disagreements with him. but i believe that you can always navigate policy disagreements because you will never have 100% agreement with everybody. it has more to do with how he has managed his campaign, the language and tone, the insulting ture of his campaign. >> what has bothered you the most? mr. ribble: it is difficult to say because he has so many. it really rubbed me the wrong way when megyn kelly asked him to give statements about the women. his response was to attack megyn kelly, rather than answering for the very things that he has said. then to come back out and even become more inflammatory, calling women bimbos, and fat picks,