ANALYSIS: A Splintered Republican Party Stumbles Down Homestretch

ANALYSIS: A Splintered Republican Party Stumbles Down HomestretchRyan says he will not defend Donald Trump or campaign with him but didn’t withdraw his endorsement — a delicate balancing act not only for Ryan’s political future but also for the dozens of endangered down-ballot Republicans looking for guidance on how to handle Trump’s latest controversy and potential controversies to come. Trump’s latest public spat with establishment Republicans in the wake of what he called his “locker room banter” about groping women, for which he has since apologized, has taken center stage over the last 24 hours. He has blasted Ryan as a “very weak and ineffective leader” who has given “zero support” and called 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain “very foul-mouthed.” He also compared top elected GOP officials to “shackles” that have been taken off.

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