Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, on Thursday picked up the all-important endorsement of Speaker Paul Ryan, the senior-most elected Republican in the US.
And in a surprising reversal of position, he sought the backing of New Mexico’s Mexican-descent governor, Susana Martinez, whom he had publicly disparaged at a recent election rally.
While Trump continues to try and unify the party behind him, he also continues to face protestors, some of whom turned violent outside his rally in San Jose, California on Thursday.
Protestors threw eggs at his supporters, and clashed with them in a pattern becoming all too familiar at his rallies. Trump lashed out them, calling them a “small group of thugs” in a tweet.
It was Ryan’s endorsement that he celebrated. “So great to have the endorsement and support of Paul Ryan. We will both be working very hard to Make America Great Again!”
Ryan had made Trump really sweat for it, starting with a public refusal to back the nominee, even after he had wrapped the race and won the requisite number of delegates.
Ryan had said he was not there yet — to endorse Trump. That statement quickly pushed him to the front of “Never Trump” Republicans, who continue to work against him.
He tweeted his endorsement on Thursday: “I’ll be voting for @realDonaldTrump this fall. I'm confident he will help turn the House GOP's agenda into laws.”
With Ryan in the bag, Trump began working towards getting Martinez’s support, which is equally important if not more, given his offensive remarks against Hispanics.
Martinez is a rising star in the Republican party and has often been spoken of as a vice-presidential candidate. She skipped a political rally Trump held in her state, earning his ire.
She was not doing her job, he had said. In an interview to a New Mexico publication on Thursday, Trump said, “I’d like to have it (her support). He added, “I respect her. I have always liked her.”