Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is under fire for remarks he made this week regarding presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump from fellow Republicans, from Trump fans and from Hispanic members of the House of Representatives.
The firestorm began when Ryan was asked about Trump's remarks regarding Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge presiding over the fraud case against Trump University.
“Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sorta like the textbook definition of a racist comment,” Ryan said, before adding that he will support Trump in November, regardless.
The Hill reported Friday that fellow Republicans are grousing that Ryan has put them in a bind, politically.
“It sets up journalists to ask, ‘Do you agree with Paul Ryan that it was racist?'" said an aide to one GOP senator who is currently fighting to be re-elected.
Other Republicans told the Hill that Trump's lack of discipline is putting the whole party on the defensive and that Ryan's statement has made that an even more complicated tightrope to walk.
"Nobody was happy with Paul,” said one anonymous senator.
A senate aide said, “His comments poured gasoline on the fire and put every Republican in an incredibly uncomfortable position. It was entirely avoidable.”
Meanwhile, Hispanics in the House have demanded that Ryan either withdraw his endorsement of the presumptive nominee or get Trump to apologize.
"It’s time for the Speaker, who’s a good person and a friend of mine, to say to Donald Trump, 'you’ve got to retract your statements,'" said Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA).
"Every time [Trump] opens his mouth he digs a deeper hole," said Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL). "When you look at citizenship and voter mobilization and registration that’s going on in the Latino community, you have to be pretty excited about the fall election if you’re a Democrat."
No one has been as vocal in condemning Ryan, however, as Trump supporters, who vehemently deny that Trump's attacks on Curiel are racist. Calling the Speaker a "Muslim" and a "social justice warrior," angry Trump fans urged Ryan to step down from his post as leader of House Republicans.
"Politically correct ‘Social Justice Warrior,’ and complete MORON Paul Ryan is busy once again helping his good friends Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama by attacking his own parties [sic] frontrunner,” wrote TruthFeed blogger Amy Moreno.
She continued, “Thanks to Paul Ryan’s incorrect and hysterical statements referring to Trump as a RACIST, over an issue Ryan clearly does not understand, Obama’s White House is now taking his word as ‘gospel’ and referring to Trump a ‘racist.’”