Now that taco bowl aficionado and patriotic trucker cap purveyor Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president, he has just a couple of months to pick a running mate. After his meeting with the Speaker of the House on Thursday, the inevitable question came up: will Trump choose Paul Ryan as his VP? Well, it's not impossible... the same way that it's not impossible that he'll pick Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, President Obama, or Grumpy Cat, which is to say that it's totally not happening.
Trump's confounding popularity with American voters has sharply divided the Republican Party between those who vote GOP because they're fiscally conservative, and those who want to keep Mexicans and Muslims out of the country. We've long been aware that there are two distinct types of Republicans, but it's never been as stark as it is in 2016, and Trump and Ryan are basically caricatures of those two types. Running together could bring the GOP back together, and unite their votes to defeat the Democratic nominee. The only issue is that it's never going to happen, because even if Trump asked him, there's no way Ryan would go for it. As The Boston Globe points out, as Speaker of the House, Ryan already has more power than a VP. Also, he most likely can't stand Trump.
As the current leader of the Republican party, Ryan is careful not to alienate any of his constituents and further fracture the party, so his rare remarks on Trump have been rather measured; while condemning Trump's most egregious statements, he rarely calls the candidate out by name, and has always maintained that he will support whomever the Republican nominee is. After Trump called for a ban on Muslims, Ryan was compelled to make a statement: "What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for, and more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for."
When Trump refused to reject the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, Ryan had a similar reaction, focusing on the behavior that ran contrary to party values, rather than Trump himself: "If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games. They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people’s prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals. This is the party of Lincoln."
Ryan hasn't explicitly refused to endorse Trump; he merely continues to say that he's "not ready" to endorse him. Trump, for his part, said that Ryan would "pay a big price" if he didn't get along with Trump. And so, on Thursday, the two got together to hash things out, and afterwards, released a joint statement about their “great conversation,” wherein they discussed their “few differences” and “many important areas of common ground.” Trump and Ryan are “totally committed to working together” to achieve unity, they said. So, best friends now? Running mates? Cordial, at least? Not so fast. When questioned immediately after the meeting on Thursday, Ryan still wouldn’t endorse Trump. He’s got two months until someone forces his hand, but it looks like there’s no way we'll see his name on the ballot in November.