Ryan's Uneasy Relationship with Trump

May 19, 2016

Asked by a reporter about a poll that found people found Trump a more trustworthy figure to lead the GOP than himself, Paul Ryan responded magnanimously.

"I hope it's Donald Trump: he's getting the nomination. He's wrapping up the nomination. Good lord, I hope it is, because the person who's getting the nomination of our party is the person to lead our party."

Dennis Goldford, Professor and Department Head of Political Science at Drake University and Flansburg Fellow at The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement, says Ryan's walking a tight rope when it comes to the presumptive nominee of his party. 

"He's working a game. He's trying to finesse this as well as he can. He doesn't want the republican party to come to a crashing defeat, particularly below the presidential level, so he's concerned about maintaining Republican turnout and participation. At the same time, of course, he's still not ready to endorse Donald Trump, so he's just trying to thread a very small needle there."

Donna Hoffman, Associate Professor and Department Head of Political Science at the University of Northern Iowa, notes that the poll was not scientific, so its results have to be taken with a grain of salt.

"I don't think it's unusual that Trump gets a higher number there, because there's a name recognition factor here as well. Many people can't name the Speaker of the House. But virtually everybody in the United States can name Donald Trump."

On this Politics Day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Goldford and Hoffman about Trump and Ryan, the fracas at the Nevada Democratic Convention, and other political news of the week.