- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that he could be open to Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin becoming the next House speaker if Mr. Ryan can be a unifying figure for the GOP, even though Mr. Ryan is what the billionaire businessman described as “weak” on illegal immigration.

Mr. Trump said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” he likes Mr. Ryan “very much” as a person but that “certainly, he has been weak on immigration, and I’m very strong on immigration.”

“Had we had strong immigration, my policies, you may not have had the World Trade Center coming down,” Mr. Trump said, reprising an argument about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks he’s been making this week. “Those people, some of them were here illegally — they were here under very weak visas, and so … I feel very, very strongly about immigration and we have to be strong on illegal immigration.”

“He is not there,” Mr. Trump said. “With that being said, if he’s a unifying force, whatever it’s going to take, because they have to unite. The Republicans have to unite as a party.”

Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said Tuesday that he’s ready to replace Speaker John A. Boehner if the House GOP conference can unite around him.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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