''Claiming a person can't do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed,'' says House Speaker Paul Ryan. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, hoping to help unify Republicans after a divisive presidential primary election campaign, began rolling out his policy agenda on Tuesday (June 7) only to run straight into the uproar over Donald Trump's comments about a Hispanic judge. Ryan, flanked by fellow House Republicans, was unveiling a plan to combat poverty through work-related initiatives but immediately found himself in the middle of the latest controversy around the Republican Party's presumptive nominee for the White House. "I regret those comments that he made. Claiming a person can't do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed," Ryan told reporters. Trump has faced a barrage of criticism from his own party over his allegations of bias against a Hispanic judge. He refused to back down on Monday on his comments last week suggesting that Mexican-American U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing fraud lawsuits against Trump University, is biased against him because of his heritage. Despite his strong condemnation of Trump on this issue, Ryan, the country's highest-ranking elected Republican, still sought to present Trump's candidacy as the way forward for Republicans. "We have more likelihood of getting our policies enacted with him than we do with (Democrat Hillary Clinton)," he said. Ryan has described his agenda as a way to offer voters a coherent policy message across key legislative areas for 2017 in the run-up to the Nov. 8 general election. The second part, on national security, will be released on Thursday. Initiatives on regulation, constitutional authority, healthcare and tax reform are expected in the coming weeks. Aides described the issue areas as common ground between Trump and Ryan, who had publicly expressed his doubts about the billionaire businessman and withheld his endorsement until last Thursday. Ryan said later he felt confident that Trump, if elected president, would help move legislation based on the agenda into law. Republicans currently control both chambers of Congress.