Washington (CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he cannot yet support presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's presidential campaign."I'm just not ready to do that at this point. I'm not there right now," the Wisconsin Republican told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" in an interview.Ryan's position makes him the highest-level GOP official to reject Trump since the real estate mogul became the last candidate standing in the party's nominating contest. His move gives down-ballot Republicans cover to hold off on supporting Trump. It could also keep his agenda in the House from being overtaken by Trump's policy positions.Ryan said he hopes to eventually back Trump and "to be a part of this unifying process." The first moves, though, must come from Trump, he said.Ryan said he wants Trump to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of.""And we've got a ways to go from here to there," Ryan said.Asked whether Trump's proposed Muslim ban, his opposition to free trade and his call to deport 12 million undocumented immigrants would preclude him from ever supporting Trump, Ryan said: "We got work to do."Trump responded to Ryan late Thursday afternoon, saying in a statement that "I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan's agenda. 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!"
You have to hand it to Trump, however. His policies aside, the man has masterfully tapped into the sentiment of many disaffected voters who are tired of politics as usual and want to see something different. But just like the Bernie supporters, the "something different" that the Trump supporters want is totally unrealistic. The United States is not going to ban Muslims from entering the country, nor is it going to build a wall and make another sovereign nation (Mexico) pay for it. Much like Bernie's cries of "free college for everybody," these policies might sounds appealing to the base but they're not rooted in reality.
The GOP is now caught between a rock and a hard place: they can't win the election if they tell these masses to get real, and on the other hand they can't officially co-sign to Trump's rhetoric. So what's a party to do?