PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. — House Speaker Paul Ryan didn't break his fragile detente with Donald Trump when asked Monday if he could replace the businessman as Republican presidential nominee.
When a Latino machinist asked Ryan on Monday whether he would consider running for president, Ryan demurred.
"No, no," Ryan said. "Thank you for asking that, I'm not sure I should thank you for asking that, actually, the convention's over with" and Trump is the official nominee, Ryan said.
"I don't think Donald Trump ever is going to make it to the White House because of the bad comments he made about the Latino community," Oscar Bautista of Park City told Ryan as the Janesville lawmaker visited Bautista's workplace during a three-stop tour of area manufacturers.
Ryan didn't take the bait. Instead he explained how the primary process works.
"Our party is a pure grassroots party," Ryan said. "The person who wins the most delegates" gets the nomination, he told Bautista.
"He won the votes fair and square, he won more votes than anybody else ... so he is the nominee," Ryan continued. "He got 14 million votes, and nobody else got close to that. So that's just the way the system works."
Bautista said he would still prefer to have someone else be the GOP standard bearer in November.
"If there's still time to dump Donald Trump from the race and get somebody like him, I told him that I am going to vote for you," Bautista explained afterward.
Bautista asked Ryan if it was his understanding that a candidate needs at least 30 to 40 percent of the Latino vote to win the White House.
"I think that is probably right," Ryan replied.