GREEN BAY, Wis. — Donald J. Trump belatedly endorsed the re-elections of Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senators John McCain and Kelly Ayotte on Friday, moving to heal a deepening rift within the Republican Party touched off by Mr. Trump’s feud with the parents of a slain American soldier.
“I support and endorse our speaker of the House, Paul Ryan,” Mr. Trump said at a rally here after announcing his backing of the senators. “He’s a good man. We may disagree on a couple of things, but mostly we agree.”
Mr. Trump ignited a controversy within his party on Tuesday when he said he was not “quite there yet” in supporting Mr. Ryan, echoing a similar line of doubt that Mr. Ryan, the nation’s most powerful elected Republican, had cast before eventually endorsing Mr. Trump for president.
The endorsement on Friday, in Mr. Ryan’s home state, Wisconsin, had the rollout of a carefully crafted campaign event. A fund-raising email was sent to supporters immediately after Mr. Trump’s announcement. Moments later, subscribers to Trump campaign texts received an alert that said, “Party unity will help Make America Great Again.”
He read the endorsement from a script. But before he got to those words, he spent several minutes in the off-the-cuff mode he is known for. He predicted that the Green Bay Packers would have a strong season, excoriated Hillary Clinton and argued that the news media had misconstrued his suggestion at a previous event that a crying baby be escorted out.
“The baby that had a voice that was superior to Pavarotti,” he said, adding, “I want to sponsor that baby.”
* * *