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Paul Ryan on state of politics: "It does not have to be this way"

House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke Wednesday morning about the state of American politics, urging more civility in a political season marred by "ugliness."

Ryan didn't mention GOP front-runner Donald Trump or any other 2016 hopefuls by name in his speech Wednesday, but the speaker has in recent weeks offered up some criticism of Trump and the violence and chaos surrounding his campaign rallies, saying the violence is "very concerning" and that candidates need to "take responsibility for the environment at their rallies."

"This has always been a tough business," Ryan said Wednesday. "And when passions flare, ugliness is sometimes inevitable. But we should not accept ugliness as the norm. We should demand better from ourselves--we should demand better from one another."

"A little skepticism, that's healthy," he continued. "But when people distrust politics, they come to distrust institutions. They lose faith in government."

But Ryan said a healthy and respectful exchange of ideas is still possible, and that those in politics should strive for it.

"Our political discourse, both the kind that we see on TV and the kind that we experience among each other, it did not use to be this bad and it does not have to be this way," he said.

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