In today’s least surprising headline, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Ayn Rand fanatic/Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released a joint statement Thursday following their meeting on Capitol Hill, insisting they had an “honest” conversation about their differences and are “totally committed” to destroying Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the fall.
“The U.S. cannot afford another four years of the Obama White House, which is what Hillary Clinton represents,” the statement reads. “That’s why it’s critical that Republicans unite around our shared principles, advance a conservative agenda, and do all we can to win this fall.”
Ryan is one of the few remaining holds-outs as Trump seeks to remake the Republican Party in his own reality-TV image. Last week, Ryan said he was “just not ready” to take the plunge and trust the Grand Old Party’s continued existence to a candidate who repeatedly disparages women and minorities and whose brand of conservatism hardly encompasses the traditional pillars of the right.
Ryan still stopped short of endorsing the presumed Republican nominee, telling reporters he won’t “fake” unity. But, he noted, he thinks Trump has a “very good personality” and “is a very warm and genuine person.” The two men insist they took a “positive first step” toward unifying the fractured Republican Party and merging Trump’s populist appeal with establishment conservatives who vowed never to support the Republican nominee.
“While we were honest about our differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground,” the statement continued. “We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall.”
Expect future developments in the Trump-Ryan bromance as the Republican Party does everything in its power to prevent enemy number one from taking the White House. After all, the only thing Republicans hate more than taxes is Hillary Clinton.
Read the full statement below, via ABC News:
Sure enough, the meeting ignited a firestorm of media coverage, or what Buzzfeed dubbed a “shitstorm.” Reactions on Twitter were equally effective in capturing just how absurd the meeting and subsequent media reaction was.
Check out some of the best tweets below:
Never before in my life have I considered writing fan fiction but only because Paul Ryan has never had a closed door meeting w/ Donald Trump
— Kay Hanley (@kayhanley) May 12, 2016
Ryan is a Trump guy now! Also, for the record, a policy guy; a budget guy; a Wisconsin guy; a hunting guy; a regular order guy!
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 12, 2016
Doesn’t seem like Trump gave Ryan even one concession in exchange for this lovefest photo op.
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) May 12, 2016
Deep thought: Somehow appropriate that the day @realDonaldTrump comes to the Hill happens to be Taco Salad Day in Congress.
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) May 12, 2016
Trump & Ryan are those guys who can’t stand each other who get handcuffed together, and have to spend the rest of the movie cooperating.
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) May 12, 2016
Ryan: “Look, you’re doing a great job of scaring white ppl, but help us out & just be a little sneakier about it”
— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) May 12, 2016
Anyone really expect Ryan to say “I endorse Trump” today? Traditionally there’s a 40-day period of mourning for everything one stands for
— Tom McCarthy (@TeeMcSee) May 12, 2016
My most important meeting of the day. pic.twitter.com/pnhIRkLPq6
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) May 12, 2016