After President Donald Trump tweeted a photo of himself along with all-white, all-male members of the Republican leadership, the ever-present concern regarding the GOP’s failure to include minorities was once again brought up.
The Republican who ended up being personally criticized wasn’t the president, but exiting House Speaker Paul Ryan.
In an interview Thursday, CNN reported, Ryan was pressed by CBS News host Gayle King about the photo. Once she let him know that this type of display makes her feel unwelcome, the congressman said he feels bad about it too.
"When I look at that picture, Mr. Speaker, I have to say, I don't see anyone that looks like me in terms of color or gender," King told Ryan. "... So when I look at that picture, I have to say, I don't feel very celebratory, I feel very excluded."
She also reminded the current Republican leader in the House that he had once promised to do more to make the GOP more inclusive.
"You were one of the main people who said you want to do more for the Republican Party to expand ... Some say this president really doesn't want to expand the base," she said.
.@GayleKing: "When I look at the picture, I don't feel very celebratory. I feel very excluded." @SpeakerRyan: "I don't like that you feel that way. We need more minorities, more women in our party." @CBSThisMorning pic.twitter.com/ts9jvUHrfz— Norah O'Donnell???? (@NorahODonnell) April 12, 2018
Ryan, who seemed incapable of counter arguing, simply said he wasn’t happy she felt excluded.
"I don't like the fact that you feel that way," Ryan told King. “[W]e need more minorities, more women in our party, and I've been focusing on that kind of recruitment."
When giving examples of what kind of recruitment he’s been involved with, Ryan mentioned Rep. Mia Love, the Utah Republican whose parents are Haitian immigrants and whose criticism of the president is well-known.
"She's somebody I recruited in a primary to come to Congress. There are a lot of candidates like Mia that we're recruiting all around the country," he explained.
The congressman, who announced he’s retiring, said he will continue to be involved with the party, working “on inclusive, aspirational politics."
Despite his claims, all Republican leadership members in both the House and the Senate are white, CNN explained. And only one of them is a woman: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
But even if Republicans did up their game now, trying to appeal to minorities across the country, they would have a hard time doing so when their very leader in the White House seems so invested in carrying on with his racist remarks — and most importantly, racist policies.