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Paul Ryan: GOP Must Unify Against Clinton

Saying his party needs to be at "full strength" ahead of the November general election, House Speaker Paul Ryan called for "real unification" between Republicans and nominee Donald Trump.

Ryan's comments on May 11 were a stark contrast to his headline-making statements six days earlier, when he said he was "just not ready" to back Trump.

"This election's too important to go into at half strength," Ryan said at a press conference, according to the Associated Press. "That means we need real unification of our party."

The Republican party has room for different flavors of conservatism, the Wisconsin congressman told reporters, but the major Republican powers must align to prevent Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency.

"We cannot afford to lose this election to Hillary Clinton, to pack the Supreme Court, to keep the liberal Obama agenda going," Ryan said. "We have to be at full strength so we can win this election."

Ryan's words, which come ahead of a planned meeting with Trump, represented a turning point in the 2016 race, according to the Wall Street Journal. By throwing his support behind the New York businessman, Ryan would join the likes of Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, in bringing the party together ahead of November.

Trump “got more votes than anybody else,” McConnell said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We respect the voices of the Republican primary voters across the country.”

Sources: AP via USA Today, Wall Street Journal / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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