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Ryan Papers Over GOP Divisions In RNC Speech: Those Are Just 'Signs Of Life'

AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

"Standing up here again, it all has kind of a familiar feel," Ryan joked. "Students of trivia will recall that last time around I was your nominee for vice president."

Over the course of his speech, Ryan seemed eager to make up for lost time and smooth over internal schisms.

"Have we had our arguments this year?" he said. "Sure we have – and you know what I call those? Signs of life."

Ryan has refused to discuss those arguments on multiple occasions, saying that he couldn’t drop everything "to comment on every ridiculous tweet" sent out by Trump's campaign.

The man who previously condemned Trump's attacks on a federal judge's ethnicity as "the textbook definition of a racist comment" went on to slam the upcoming Democratic National Convention as a "four-day infomercial of politically correct moralizing" and the equivalent of a political holding pattern.

"You can get through four days of it, with a little help from the mute button," he said. "But four more years of it? Not a chance."

He cited "shady power plays" and "constitutional limits brushed off as nothing" by the Obama administration as examples of broken campaign promises. Yet Ryan has previously said that he would "sue any president that exceeds his or her powers," apparently referring to the possibility of a Trump presidency.

Ryan also pitched the Republican Party as a staunch defender of the notion that everyone is created equal, despite Trump's harsh anti-immigration rhetoric and proposal to ban Muslims from the U.S. The House speaker previously called Trump's proposed Muslim ban a disfigurement of GOP values.

"Real social progress is always a widening of the circle of concern and protection," Ryan said. "Everyone is equal… everyone has a place… no one is written off, because there is worth and goodness in every life. Straight from the Declaration of Independence, that is the Republican ideal – and if we won’t defend it, who will?"