CLEVELAND — House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has struggled to align himself with GOP nominee Donald Trump, on Tuesday called on the party to unite behind him in order to defeat Hillary Clinton and end Democratic control of the White House.
"So much that you and I care about, so many things we stand for, are in the balance in the coming election," Ryan told the Republican National Committee. "Whatever we lack going into this campaign, we should not lack for motivation. In the plainest terms I know, it is all on the line."
Ryan's call for party unity comes after a divisive primary that ended with shouting on the convention floor by anti-Trump forces who tried but failed to block an otherwise decisive win for Trump, a bombastic businessman with no political experience whose proposals and comments have sometimes caused GOP leaders to cringe.
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, who ran as the GOP vice presidential candidate alongside Mitt Romney in 2012, told the crowd it was time to put their differences aside in order to stop Hillary Clinton from winning the White House.
"So what do you say we unite this party, at this crucial moment when unity is everything?" Ryan asked.
"Let's take the fight to our opponents with better ideas. Let's get on the offensive and let's stay there," he added. "Let's compete in every part of America, and turn out at the polls like every last vote matters, because it will."
Ryan promoted the Republican "Better Way" agenda authored by House GOP lawmakers under his leadership. The six-part plan, unveiled in June, tackles tax reform, healthcare reform, foreign policy and other critical issues.
"And you know what? None of this will happen under Hillary Clinton," Ryan said. "Only with Donald Trump and Mike Pence do we have a chance at a better way. "
Ryan said Clinton and the Democrats are offering "a third Obama term," that offers stale wages and a stagnant economy.
"The Obama years are almost over," Ryan said. "The Clinton years are way over. 2016 is the year America moves on."