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Paul Ryan 'Laughed Out Loud' At Donald Trump's 'Pay A Big Price' Threat

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Evan Vucci
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he "laughed out loud" at Donald Trump's Super Tuesday comment that the Wisconsin Republican would "pay a big price" if he couldn't work with him.

"Sometimes, reality is stranger than fiction around here these days," Ryan told reporters at his weekly press conference. The speaker said he watched Trump's comments from his office. Trump did not elaborate on his Ryan comment.

Ryan has publicly rebuked Trump twice during this presidential nomination contest — first, for calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., and then this week for Trump's failure to distance himself quickly enough from white supremacists who support his campaign. Trump stated he disavowed those groups.

Ryan says he is committed to working with whoever the voters decide is the Republican nominee. He described himself as a "good-natured guy" who can work with anyone.

Ryan's comments were in stark contrast to his friend and former running mate Mitt Romney, who, at the same time Thursday, issued a broadside against Trump.

Romney said the real estate mogul is unfit for office and suggested a contested convention may be in order to make sure he does not become the nominee.

Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination with more state wins and more delegates than any other GOP contender. Party leaders, however, are reluctant to grant Trump that status.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that House Republicans had fostered a climate that allowed Trump to rise.

"My sentiment is that I don't think that what Trump and the others are saying is a reflection of Republicans writ large in our country, but it is an accurate reflection of the actions taken, or not taken, by the House Republicans," she said.

Pelosi also said a contested convention would wreak havoc on any party that attempted it.

"If somebody has the majority of the delegates from the votes of the people, I think that you change that to your peril, whatever party you are," she said.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR and a co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.