Continetti: Republican Base Now Is ‘Largely Trump Supporters’

Washington Free BeaconĀ editor Matthew Continetti said Thursday on MSNBC that Donald Trump's response to House Speaker Paul Ryan's ambivalence about supporting him was the right one, adding the GOP base now largely consists of Trump supporters.

Ryan (R., Wis.) told CNN earlier Thursday that he was not yet prepared to endorse Trump, despite the billionaire's status as presumptive Republican presidential nominee. In response, Trump released a statement saying he was not ready to support Ryan's agenda either, adding, "Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!"

"I thought it was the right response coming from Trump," Continetti said. "He didn't call Paul Ryan ‘Tall Paul' or make up some other [nickname] … He did the best that Trump can probably do in not burning any bridges. I would say Paul Ryan's answer was pretty good, too, to the inevitable question that all Republicans and conservatives get, ‘Do you support Trump?' He said, well, not yet, he has to prove it to me."

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Meet The Press Daily host Chuck Todd said Ryan's maneuver was meant to provide cover to House Republicans who may have no choice politically but to "dump Trump."

Todd later asked Continetti what the Republican base was right now.

"Well, I think it's largely Trump supporters," Continetti said. "I think a lot of the Republican mainstream vote is going to coalesce around [Trump.]"

"Voters are moving to Trump faster than the leaders," Todd said.

"That's right, and not all the leaders are going to be with them in the end," Continetti said. "There will be some who just won't be able to support Donald Trump for whatever reason, but I think the majority of Republicans will be for Trump in November, so that's the Republican base is the party of Trump. It's not the GOP that we've come to know."