House Speaker Paul Ryan continued to make the case that he and Donald Trump don't differ too much on key issues, saying Sunday that the president-elect and other Republicans have similar views on health care and immigration.
Ryan (R-Wis.) tried to emphasize common ground in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
For example, he said people should “put their minds at ease” about a roving deportation force, which neither Trump nor rank-and-file Republicans want.
“We’re focused on securing the border. We believe a security enforcement bill is our top priority,” Ryan said. “We are not planning on erecting a deportation force. Donald Trump is not planning on that.”
In October, the speaker said he wouldn't campaign or defend Trump, sparking a public feud between the two. Ryan instead encouraged voters to support Republican candidates up and down the ticket.
But after Trump won, Ryan sought to heal some of the fractures of the campaign season, saying Trump would lead “a unified Republican government.”
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 12, 2016
At the same time, Trump has backed away from some of his most sweeping pledges on the campaign trail — plans to completely dismantle Obamacare and make Mexico pay for a wall on the southern border. Construction, Trump has said, would coincide with a mass deportation of illegal immigrants.
Trump told CBS's "60 Minutes” that he still planned to immediately deport 2 million to 3 million illegal immigrants — mostly criminals.
“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” Trump said in an interview with CBS on “60 Minutes.” “But we’re getting them out of our country, they’re here illegally.”
Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the House and a member of Trump's transition team, told CBS News on Sunday that Trump needs to be aggressive on immigration.
“They’re called criminals. I mean, 2 million people would be a lot of people to deport,” Gingrich said. “And if, at the same time, you gain control of the border, and if you pass a guest worker program, you’d be a long way toward then three, or four, or five years from now dealing with the rest of the folks who are here without legal permission.”
Trump has also hedged on a vow to jettison President Obama's health care law. After meeting with Obama in the Oval Office on Thursday, he “suggested provisions that prevent insurers from refusing coverage for preexisting conditions and which allow children to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 should stay,” according to The Washington Post's Jose A. DelReal.
But Ryan said Sunday that Republican health-care plans have similar caveats.
“We can have a health-care system in America where everyone, regardless of income or health condition, can have access to health care,” he said. “And you can have this without having a costly government takeover like Obamacare. We can fix what is broken in health care without breaking what was working about health care.”