@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Paul Ryan preaches unity to skeptical NC delegation

Posted July 19

— Party unity remains a big issue as the Republican National Convention nears the halfway point in Cleveland, and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan tried to emphasize that Tuesday morning in a talk with North Carolina's convention delegation.

"How many of you had in your mind, at the beginning of this campaign, perhaps another candidate?" Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, asked the crowd.

When a number of hands shot up showing a large contingent wasn't initially supportive of Donald Trump, Ryan, who himself was slow to embrace the presumptive presidential nominee, said simply, "Fine."

Then, he tried a sports analogy that quickly fell flat.

"OK, how many of you are for N.C. State primarily? How many support North Carolina?" he asked. "One of our teams from our state goes to the championship, we root for them, right?"

When that suggestion was greeted with a resounding "no," Ryan winced. "Come on, work with me here. Good grief," he said.

Mary Forrester, a Ted Cruz delegate from Gaston County, said she would support Trump, as will delegate Joyce Cotten of Pittsboro.

"We have differences of opinion. We fight for those differences," Forrester said of the division within the GOP that was displayed Monday during a rules fight on the convention floor.

"I think Donald Trump is the answer," Cotten said. "If people have reservations, I think he's going to be a good leader. He's a businessman, and at this time, in my mind, that's what we need."

"We are to the point where this is a binary choice," Ryan told the North Carolina delegation. "If you're not voting for the Republican, then you are helping the Democrat."

Larry Schug, a Cruz delegate from Zebulon, said he doesn't buy that argument.

"I'm not voting for Hillary Clinton," Schug said.

He said he just doesn't believe Trump is a conservative, so he's not ready to jump on the bandwagon.

"If the Republican Party, the establishment of the Republican Party, wants to force their ways down our throat, I can't stand for it," Schug said.

"We usually do the right thing after we've tried everything else," Forrester said of the GOP. "So, I feel like that we will come together."

6 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • New Holland Jul 20, 2:46 p.m.
    user avatar

    I've had to admire what Ryan has done this far as speaker of the house, but here in lies part of the problem, he's out of touch with people in NC especially fans of UNC, Duke, and NCSU as he used in this story. if you can't figure that simple premise then how can you relate to the people that need the help that his office yields? So far this week the GOP has opened mouth, stick foot.

  • Alex Handlovits Jul 20, 9:41 a.m.
    user avatar

    "He's a businessman, and at this time, in my mind, that's what we need."

    Because that's what America is, a business? The leaps of logic people take to vote for this guy who is completely unqualified to be president...

  • Paul Donovan Jul 20, 7:40 a.m.
    user avatar

    Typical boneheaded GOPers that shoot themselves in the foot. Trump received 1725 delegates, Cruz less than 500. Pull your big boy and girl pants up and accept that your guy lost. Sheesh.

  • Pete Muller Jul 19, 8:38 p.m.
    user avatar

    Oh sure, the eternal media conspiracy call. How original.

  • Demute Sainte Jul 19, 8:23 p.m.
    user avatar

    So what... ONE NC deligate has issues with Trump? Hardly worth the headline.

    But hey... when has the media EVER missed an opportunity to blow out of proportion anything about Trump.

    Too funny. Party on GOP!

  • Andrew Stephenson Jul 19, 4:33 p.m.
    user avatar

    ""OK, how many of you are for N.C. State primarily? How many support North Carolina?" he asked. "One of our teams from our state goes to the championship, we root for them, right?"

    When that suggestion was greeted with a resounding "no," Ryan winced. "Come on, work with me here. Good grief," he said.

    I LOL'ed hard at my desk.