Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan condemned GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. (video below).
Ryan made the remarks during a Dec. 8 press conference. It is rare for a House speaker to make any statement in regards to his or her party’s presidential race, but Ryan took exception to Trump’s call to target immigrants and tourists based on their religion.
On Dec. 7, Trump’s campaign put out a statement on his official website calling for a ban on admitting any Muslims from entering the U.S.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on,” the campaign said in the press release.
“Normally, I do not comment on what is going on in the presidential election,” Ryan said during a press conference. “I will take an exception today. This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for and, more importantly, it is not what this country stands for.”
Ryan defended the contributions that Muslim Americans make to the U.S.
“Not only are there many Muslims serving in our armed forces dying for this country, there (are) Muslims serving right here in the House working every day to uphold and defend the Constitution,” Ryan said. “Some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical Islam are Muslims, the vast majority of whom are peaceful — who believe in pluralism, freedom, democracy, individual rights.”
Ryan succeeded Republican Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as speaker of the House in October 2015. He was also Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate in the 2012 presidential election.
Other GOP candidates have roundly condemned a ban on Muslims, BBC reports.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Trump’s policy is “offensive and outlandish.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie deemed it a “ridiculous position” while Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called it “downright dangerous.”
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who serves as the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, joined Ryan’s position, telling CNN “I don’t think you should stereotype people.”
When asked by reporters if he would support Trump if he wins the GOP presidential nomination, Ryan said “I’m going to support whoever the Republican nominee is and I’m going to stand up for what I believe in as I do that.”