I am not sure if House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan was kidding when he suggested on Tuesday night that he could reach for the Republican presidential nomination at a contested convention in Cleveland, this morning he made it clear he’s fine where he is.
“The speaker is grateful for the support, but he is not interested. He will not accept a nomination and believes our nominee should be someone who ran this year,” spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.
The House and Senate are now looking at Sen. Mitch McConnell asking, “what is plan B”? McConnell is probably stuck sitting there with a dumb look on his face. They created this mess, built on it for the last seven years, and now the monster has turned on it’s creator, and they don’t know what to do.
Ryan, who had on numerous occasions flatly said he was not interested in the job, offered some less definitive words in an interview with CNBC Tuesday night.
“You know, I haven’t given any thought to this stuff,” Ryan said. “People say, ‘What about the contested convention?’ I say, well, there are a lot of people running for president. We’ll see. Who knows.”
In the same interview, Ryan also said “I’m happy where I am, so no.”
But his seeming pass on the chance to categorically rule out accepting the nomination prompted some observers to wonder if Ryan remains open to the possibility.
The speculation was compounded by Ryan’s predecessor, former House Speaker John Boehner, suggesting Tuesday night that he would support Ryan if no other presidential candidate amassed enough delegates to secure the nomination.
“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above,” Boehner said at a Florida conference, according to POLITICO. “They all had a chance to win. None of them won. So I’m for none of the above. I’m for Paul Ryan to be our nominee.”
Under the current rules, therefore, it’s nonsense to talk about any candidate coming from behind to win the nomination unless that candidate meets the eight-state threshold before the first ballot, much less to talk about breaking a possible convention deadlock by nominating anyone who is not right now a candidate for the nomination.