Ryan: It’s “too late” for a new candidate to enter the GOP race

posted at 1:20 pm on February 20, 2012 by Tina Korbe

No matter how far we come in the primary process, the desire for a last-minute messianic entrant into the GOP race just won’t die. What’s more, preparatory finite strategizing for this imaginary candidate hasn’t stopped, either.

Over the weekend, James Pethokoukis, drawing on reporting from Politico’s Mike Allen, outlined “how the GOP presidential race blows up, and a new candidate comes on the scene.” According to Pethokoukis/Allen, at least one top Republican strategist thinks a new candidate could enter the race after Michigan and still have time to secure enough delegates to ensure a contested convention. The strategist sounded especially confident:

“If somebody came on the scene that week after Super Tuesday with, ‘I’m coming in. I’m taking a look at this,’ there are enough delegates. He would suck all the oxygen out of the race. People wouldn’t even give a shit who won on these other dates in March that are after Super Tuesday. I mean, seriously, who would care? It would all be about a new savior.”

The unnamed expert implied he’d thought about a new candidate in detail because he’s fearful Rick Santorum will win Michigan. Santorum, this fellow said, would lose “35 states” in the general election. Naturally, Jennifer Rubin gleefully interpreted all of this as an argument for Mitt Romney’s electability.

Thankfully, the GOP has Paul Ryan to inject a little sense into this conversation:

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said it would be unwise for anyone new to enter the Republican primary, even if Mitt Romney were to lose the primary in Michigan at the end of the month.

Ryan himself was once discussed as a potential contender.

“I don’t see how that can happen,” Ryan said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “It’s just too late, I think.”

The anonymous Republican strategist might have taught us that it’s technically not too late, but Paul Ryan, as usual, reminds us of reality: It’s just too late. Do these dissatisfied Republicans want Obama to win? A late entrant would be sure to lose, as all his past missteps would be illuminated at just the right time to benefit Obama. If that is what these discontent GOPers desire, there’s an easier way. They can stay home in November, let Obama win and come back in four years to nominate a hero then. The rest of us will recognize that the GOP frontrunners are solid alternatives to Obama, vote enthusiastically for whoever secures the nomination and support him and the hopefully Republican Congress as they tackle the real work of taming the debt and rebooting the economy.

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James A. Garfield would disagree strongly with you, Rep. Ryan.

Contested convention, get us a new one!

UODuckMan on February 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Of course, Tina actually seems happy with a potential Santorum nomination… I think if we’re going to go with a suicide candidate it should at least be someone who can go down for speaking truth about the existential issue of our time – the looming debt crisis. Nothing in Santorum’s record shows an inclination to make the unpopular cuts that will be needed to restore fiscal sanity. Has Santorum ever run anything? Met a payroll?

DavidW on February 20, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Letting us know of your former name I presume?

Chip on February 20, 2012 at 3:30 PM


right2bright on February 20, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Thank you. I held my nose and voted for Little Dab’ll Do Ya in the Florida primary but the characters I described above is what I’m hearing about the candidates from others when I travel on business in states that have not voted yet.

And this is exactly how the other side and the MSM will present them. You are right. They need to get their “A” games going. Quit focusing on your primary opponent. Tout your plan and ideas clearly and concisely and you might just win the primary and create some enthusiasm instead of scorn, disdain and characterization

jb34461 on February 20, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Well, thank YOU for sharing your pet names. Quite accurate and hilarious. ;)

Right now none of them could get elected to Podunk dog catcher and most posters here could comprehensibly and coherently out-debate them.

I can see Santorum being green and Paul being out there, but what in the world is Romney and Gringrich’s excuse???? Romney’s been running for 35 years it seems. HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING IN THAT TIME???? Where’s your game? Your polish? You haven’t learned to coherently present yourself??

And Gingrich. How in the world did you win previously?

Amateur night.

kim roy on February 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

au contraire…….

in fact not to late as the perfect storm brews…………

considering all the money thrown at the existing field, no clear “preferred” candidate…….the later the better and a brokered convention with the introduction of a real conservative…….

would make liberal heads spin in all directions…….

the left would be forced to throw everything including the kitchen sink and at long last be exposed to their true level of desperation.

The lone question……….

Who is it, the right could truly coalesce around for the landslide victory that the right, and America needs at this vital turning point in our country’s history…….

.. … … … WHO?

RealMc on February 20, 2012 at 4:15 PM

I will “NOT” vote for Romney.

Sorry if I don’t follow the herd off the cliff.

JAYTBMF on February 20, 2012 at 4:19 PM

re: JAYTBMF on February 20, 2012 at 4:19 PM

add the entire current wannabe’s and has been’s to that list.

Come on Brokered Convention.

RealMc on February 20, 2012 at 4:21 PM

My stomach turns every time I think of the four choices that I have. Remember when everyone wanted the field narrowed? I wish Pawlenty, Perry and Huntman were still in the running. At least these three have some conservative credentials.

jazzuscounty on February 20, 2012 at 5:07 PM

RealMc on February 20, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Okay, I agree with the progressives’ heads exploding with a brand spanking new candidate to contend with So who’s that candidate who supporters of all three planks of the platform (economy, social & military/foregn policy) could rally around.

jb34461 on February 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM

jb34461 on February 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Why Sarah of course!

shmendrick on February 20, 2012 at 9:21 PM

How about a write-in campaign for Havelock Vetinari?

PersonFromPorlock on February 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

The rest of us will recognize that the GOP frontrunners are solid alternatives to Obama

You misspelled “pretend”.

Mark Jaquith on February 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM