Is Paul Ryan the man to beat in 2016?

posted at 5:41 pm on February 6, 2014 by Allahpundit

Lefty Kevin Drum thinks so. I’m skeptical, but Ryan’s better positioned than we usually give him credit for when we’re kicking around 2016 possibilities.

There’s his steady series of “unheralded” anti-poverty outreach trips that always manage to be just heralded enough to get sympathetic press coverage. He brokered a budget deal with Patty Murray that was businesslike and low-drama but didn’t alienate the tea party crowd too badly. Today, in a hearing about the CBO’s report on Obamacare, he acknowledged that the report didn’t say that employers would be cutting jobs—points for intellectual honesty!—while also calling Obamacare a “poverty trap”—points for demagoguery! This is all stuff that seems very delicately calculated to stay in the good graces of the tea party base while building up plenty of policy substance cred that will keep him attractive to moderate voters.

On the flip side, who are his big competitors? Chris Christie is toast. Marco Rubio is inexperienced to begin with, and then muffed his chance for statesmanlike glory when he staked his reputation on immigration reform and came up empty. Jeb Bush can’t even get his mother’s endorsement. Scott Walker is getting buzz, but he strikes me as having too much baggage. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are novelty candidates, not to be taken seriously. And although I used to think Bobby Jindal might have a chance, he’s had a rough past couple of years.

When the Des Moines Register polled Iowans just before Christmas on who their favorite Republicans were, number one was — ta da — Paul Ryan. Obviously: On sheer name recognition alone, as the reigning VP nominee he blows most of the rest of the field out of the water. He’s as personally likable as any of his rivals, and he is, technically, now “next in line” in a party that tends to go that route when making hard choices in the primaries. And with Christie now flailing, he’d be primed to pick up some of Romney’s rich friends as donors if he jumped in. Everyone thinks he’d rather stay put and either be Speaker or chairman of Ways and Means, where he could set the agenda on entitlement reform, but there’s a reason he hasn’t ruled out running for president. He’d stand a fair chance at the nomination.

But he’s got problems. One is that he’s not as much of a darling of the base as he was three years ago, when deficit reduction was front and center. Conservatives didn’t like his budget deal and they really don’t like his shilling for Boehner’s amnesty push. If you’ve ruled out Rubio because of his work on the Gang of Eight, why at this point wouldn’t you also rule out Ryan? That’s not an insuperable obstacle for him — he’d be more of a centrist champion if he ran than a tea-party one — but his base is smaller than it used to be. Another obvious problem is that nominating Ryan would bring about the Mediscare apocalypse in the general election as Democrats ramp up into “he wants to kill your grandma” mode. Is 51 percent of our entitlement-loving electorate capable of resisting that pitch? Remember how Ryan didn’t do much talking publicly after being added to the ticket in 2012? There’s a reason for that. Finally, after nominating a senator and then a businessman who briefly served as governor, I think the party wants to nominate a governor who’ll run on his gubernatorial record next time. That’s part of Christie’s appeal to the establishment and a big part of Scott Walker’s appeal to grassroots righties. If you thought Obama governed like an amateur, the pitch will go, then you should vote for someone with executive experience this time.

Key question, then: What’s the case for Ryan over Walker? They’re both low-key Wisconsinites, both young, both with battle scars from their fiscal initiatives. Walker’s win over PEUs is arguably the biggest conservative policy victory since Obama took office, and seems to me increasingly recognized as such. For all his alleged “baggage,” he’s still on track to win reelection in a state where the left and its union allies have been frantic to take him down for the past three years. Ryan’s got him beat in name recognition right now but all governors have to cope with better-known rivals when they first start running. And at this point, Walker has a broader base between centrists and conservatives than Ryan does. What am I missing here?

Update: No joke, guys. I saw it with my own eyes.


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Only with a baseball bat.

Lanceman on February 6, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Sorry, being embarrassed in the VP debate doesn’t
even get you in the door

Brock Robamney on February 6, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Jeb Bush can’t even get his mother’s endorsement.

:-)

Flange on February 6, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Walker > Ryan. Big time.

cdog0613 on February 6, 2014 at 5:45 PM

If you’re going to dump Ryan over immigration why would you accept Walker? What is the difference between the two on this issue?

Mark1971 on February 6, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Sorry, being embarrassed in the VP debate doesn’t
even get you in the door

Brock Robamney on February 6, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Especially when you got your @$$ handed to you by the likes of Joe Biden.

That’s a new kind of suck.

CurtZHP on February 6, 2014 at 5:46 PM

? So he is against grandma and veterans but goes to bat for illegal immigrants?

TAARP on February 6, 2014 at 5:46 PM

NO Romney … NO Ryan.

We don’t need to elect any more PRIC’s (progressive republicans in congress). Nor do we want them in the office of President … no more!

ORrighty on February 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Walker > Ryan. Big time.

cdog0613 on February 6, 2014 at 5:45 PM

They both suck on immigration, but Walker is better otherwise.

Jon0815 on February 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Hahahahaha.

The GOPe names just keep a comin’. They’re throwing the spaghetti against the wall and hoping something sticks, terrified because of those feisty men who fight them whom they know are waiting in the wings.

INC on February 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Is Paul Ryan, the man to beat in 2016?.

FIFY.

nico on February 6, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Oof, I just remembered the disastrous VP debate.

Punchenko on February 6, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Amnesty pandering squish.

idesign on February 6, 2014 at 5:48 PM

No–he had a chance to show conservative leadership and blew it.

Big disappointment.

I don’t think Rand Paul should be so easily dismissed. Can you imagine, just on the optics alone, a contest between Paul and Hillary Clinton?

Art Vandelay on February 6, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Well, since he couldn’t grind Biden into mush, I think the obvious answer is NO. He didn’t even carry his home state.If your looking at WI look towards Johnson or even better Walker. Both have won statewide. Paul Ryan is very popular with the GOP house leadership. If that isn’t enough to queer this deal, I don’t know what to tell you but NO, HELL NO

rik on February 6, 2014 at 5:48 PM

If you’re going to dump Ryan over immigration why would you accept Walker? What is the difference between the two on this issue?
Mark1971 on February 6, 2014 at 5:45 PM

How about none of the above?

Brock Robamney on February 6, 2014 at 5:50 PM

You can’t be serious.

rrpjr on February 6, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Why should the GOP run a candidate? They’ll have the same positions as Hillary and the whole thing will only be a waste of a billion dollars to get the same result– Hillary wins.

El_Terrible on February 6, 2014 at 5:50 PM

How’s the syphilitic camel doing?

Flange on February 6, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Headline on Fox News right now: “Buzz growing about Mitt Romney and 2016”

NO MAKE IT STOP

Sachiko on February 6, 2014 at 5:51 PM

I stated in December, I will never vote for Paul Ryan to be POTUS. He is the establishment.

They had better consider that there are many others like me that will not vote for him.

h a p f a t on February 6, 2014 at 5:51 PM

What do you mean by “beat”..?

d1carter on February 6, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Paul Ryan
Scott Walker
Chris Christie
Marco Rubio
Jeb Bush
Rand Paul
Ted Cruz
Bobby Jindal
Mitt Romney

Which of these agree with the base on immigration? Ted Cruz and maybe Rand Paul. A couple others are trying to finesse the issue, but pretty much everyone but those two desperately want to pass amnesty for illegals.

Fenris on February 6, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Can someone reminder me what Scott Walker’s “baggage” is. Perhaps the fact that he decimated Big Labor in Wisconsin is viewed as “baggage”, by career politicos inside the Beltway. Outside of the Beltway, though, it would be an asset, and not baggage.

mrsam on February 6, 2014 at 5:53 PM

I like Ryan. Before the Bridgegate mess, I figured my vote would go to either Ryan or Christie.

There is a difference between Paul Ryan and Barack Obama. As Chairman of the Finance Committee, Paul Ryan has held a significant post.

As for Ryan VS Walker, while I can understand a preference for Governors, one occasional problem is that some Governors will be ignorant about circumstances and priorities outside of his state. See Rick Perry in 2012, or Sarah Palin in 2008. Some Washington experience can be good.

There’s an image of the Republicans as the party of old people and idiots. There aren’t serious arguments against Paul Ryan’s intelligence, and he is fairly young (while also managing to get significant political experience.) Walker’s lack of a college degree can play into stereotypes about dumb Republicans.

Mister Mets on February 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are novelty candidates, not to be taken seriously.

From a left-wing perspective, Reagan would have been a novelty candidate in the 1970′s.

aunursa on February 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Soooooooooo, President Hilary, huh?

*sigh*

Kensington on February 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Headline on Fox News right now: “Buzz growing about Mitt Romney and 2016”

NO MAKE IT STOP

Sachiko on February 6, 2014 at 5:51 PM

More spaghetti against the wall. Romney had to fight for his life against far weaker candidates than those who (I’m thinking of Cruz and Rand) seem to be getting ready to go into the arena.

This is wishcasting by the GOPe.

INC on February 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM

With a stick, perhaps.

Not voting for him.

Midas on February 6, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Why should the GOP run a candidate? They’ll have the same positions as Hillary and the whole thing will only be a waste of a billion dollars to get the same result– Hillary wins.
El_Terrible on February 6, 2014 at 5:50 PM

What and miss out on those charming pantsuits?

Brock Robamney on February 6, 2014 at 5:55 PM

I hope he runs just so I can paul in more of those uber masculine camo outfits he parades in all over his facebook page. Woof!

PrettyMooch on February 6, 2014 at 5:55 PM

I think Mitt would be excellent-but he’s finished and should stay out.

gerrym51 on February 6, 2014 at 5:55 PM

We truly are the retread, self-destructive party. He couldn’t even make Biden look stupid in a debate, and Biden usually doesn’t need any help with that.

melle1228 on February 6, 2014 at 5:55 PM

NO.

I wouldn’t vote for Ryan for any office after his about face on amnesty and his betrayal of working Americans and our military personnel.

thatsafactjack on February 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM

The man that could not even deliver his own state as VP on the ticket.

oldyeller on February 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are novelty candidates, not to be taken seriously.

From a left-wing perspective, Reagan would have been a novelty candidate in the 1970′s.

aunursa on February 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Also from the perspective of the GOPe. They hated and despised President Reagan.

BTW, if it hasn’t been mentioned already, today is the anniversary of Reagan’s birthday.

INC on February 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM

…with a diaper full of shit…on amnesty!

KOOLAID2 on February 6, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Dear God,
Please provide more Scotch, preferably Macallan 12.
Thanks,
Rick Blaines Forehead

rick_blaines_forehead on February 6, 2014 at 5:59 PM

If Rubio hadn’t humped Obama’s leg on amnesty he’d be a shoe in for the nomination lol

El_Terrible on February 6, 2014 at 5:59 PM

calling bluegill.
your boy is up to the plate.

renalin on February 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM

If you’re going to dump Ryan over immigration why would you accept Walker? What is the difference between the two on this issue?

Mark1971 on February 6, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Paul Ryan actually plays a part in writing/voting on any proposed immigration law. While Ryan has been front and center in the recent amnesty push, Walker has barely commented on immigration and being governor in Wisconsin, at this point I don’t know why he would say anything at all on the subject. What little Walker has said on immigration has been a jumbled mess, but he doesn’t have any power over what passes the house right now.

There’s also the fact that Walker has one of the biggest conservative victories in the last decade while Ryan has little to show for his budget proposals. Fairly or unfairly, that hurts Ryan.

midgeorgian on February 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Overrated Paul Ryan was a terrible failure as a VP candidate in 2012. He lost a debate to Joe Biden, of all people, in humiliating fashion. He didn’t help win any state.

The thing I liked best about Romney was his strong position on immigration law enforcement, something he was consistent on through the campaign.

Ryan holds absolutely no appeal for me. He is an unlikable, fast-talking amnesty shill who sides against the tea party and conservatives.

bluegill on February 6, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Where is that other multiple choice answer…. OH THERE IT IS:

None Of The Above.

The GOP party fails to represent me time and time again. It’s only saving grace is that it is progressive-light. Or used to be two decades ago… the culture’s lack of a standard of morality and individualism is the issue folks.. politicians only parrot the popular social trends… it’s a popularity contest.

glidingone on February 6, 2014 at 6:02 PM

walker is toeing the establishment line, pro on amnesty and jeb bush.
he can deny what he said all he wants, but its his words. remember EVEN Rubio and McCain STILL INSIST they are against amnesty. here is a link with the video, are you going to believe him or your lying eyes?
http://hotair.com/archives/2013/02/26/walker-i-support-a-path-to-citizenship-in-comprehensive-immigration-reform/
“We just have a broken system. And to me, if somebody wants to come in and live the American dream and work hard … we should have a system that works and let’s people in,” Walker told POLITICO’s Jonathan Martin at the event.
Again, that’s the Rubio position.What about 2016? Walker declined to comment on his own prospects, but offered a suggestion about who might have the best credentials to run — except for the last name:
“I think it would have a major impact just because he’s a great performer. And I mean that in the best of sense,” Walker said. “You look at his two terms of governor of obviously a tremendously large and significant state — and he turned things around in terms of the economy… He’s got a great record of success.”
And if it wasn’t for his last name, Bush might’ve been talked up to run for president sooner.
“I think frankly in this election and in the past, if you took your finger and covered his last name and just talked about Jeb, there’d be a lot of us who would be talking about him running for president a lot sooner than now,” Walker said.
walker has been getting some positive liberal press now for selling out conservative values (they want to be allies with rove in choosing the progpublican nominee), just as Christie was getting for doing the same. as soon as they build him up, they will tear him down, just like christie. wont matter though any pro amnesty (R) candidate has NO CHANCE in a national election no matter how much the rove/establishment sell out gop’ers try to push rinos on us. bush, Christie, walker etc….will not be supported by the base and will lose. but the asshats don’t care, they would rather lose than have a conservative that is not owned by lobbyist elected

Garyinaz66 on February 6, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Well, since he couldn’t grind Biden into mush, I think the obvious answer is NO. He didn’t even carry his home state.If your looking at WI look towards Johnson or even better Walker. Both have won statewide. Paul Ryan is very popular with the GOP house leadership. If that isn’t enough to queer this deal, I don’t know what to tell you but NO, HELL NO

rik on February 6, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Paul Ryan may have helped the ticket as much as a running mate can be reasonably be expected to accomplish.

Wisconsin went for President Obama by nearly fourteen points in 2008. That advantage was down to just under seven points in 2012.

Compared to the popular vote, Wisconsin was 6.7% more liberal than the rest of the country in 2008. That was down to 3.04% in 2012.

Mister Mets on February 6, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Is Paul Ryan the man to beat in 2016?

Paul Ryan looted military pensions. He’s due a beating in 2014.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Can someone reminder me what Scott Walker’s “baggage” is. Perhaps the fact that he decimated Big Labor in Wisconsin is viewed as “baggage”, by career politicos inside the Beltway. Outside of the Beltway, though, it would be an asset, and not baggage.

mrsam on February 6, 2014 at 5:53 PM

This.

Baggage? What baggage? Only in the teary eyes of a committed leftist as they recognize his reforms worked.

Oh and please Hot Air liberals, don’t scream his reforms didn’t work. Wisconsin Dem’s are not touching Act 10 with a ten foot pole this election because it would doom them. The reforms are popular becaused they saved thousands of teacher and government jobs, balanced the budget without raising taxes, and actually are going to get a tax refund.

You guys should be thanking Walker for saving those teacher and government jobs.

WisRich on February 6, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Is Paul Ryan the man to beat in 2016?

Nope. He was a big nothing on the 2012 ticket, and wants to be House budget chair more than anything anyway.

Stoic Patriot on February 6, 2014 at 6:04 PM

No Ryan. Only candidates with executive experience. He’s been too willing to sell us down the river.
Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have much bigger followings.

Iblis on February 6, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Can someone reminder me what Scott Walker’s “baggage” is. …

mrsam on February 6, 2014 at 5:53 PM

He has ‘evolved’ on immigration and openly supports the Senate bill. Actually, what he doesn’t like about the Senate bill is that it’s only a “band-aid” and doesn’t make it easy enough to immigrate here for a job. So he’s more extreme than the lefties.

Fenris on February 6, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Amnesty pandering squish.

idesign on February 6, 2014 at 5:48 PM

This^^^

annoyinglittletwerp on February 6, 2014 at 6:06 PM

If you thought Obama governed like an amateur, the pitch will go, then you should vote for someone with executive experience this time.

They had the option of going with a guy who had executive experience last time. It didn’t matter.

Stoic Patriot on February 6, 2014 at 6:07 PM

MeanWhile,….BrokenAxleBentRod:

Tweets All / No replies

Retweeted by Aaron Blake
David Axelrod ‏@davidaxelrod 13m

With the Senate seriously at risk, and the Koch Brothers spending prodigiously, shouldn’t Dem funders be focused on ’14 and not ’16 races?

https://twitter.com/davidaxelrod

canopfor on February 6, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Wash….Rinse…..repeat, I wish the repubs could think outside the box

giscwo on February 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

The sad truth is that Democratic voters are ably represented by their party’s leaders in Washington. Large corporations hungry for cheap labor are brilliantly represented by Republican leaders. Hell, even the illegal aliens who are not allowed to vote are amply represented in Washington — by both parties.

The only suckers who don’t have a seat at the table are the American people, the taxpayers and workers.”

Sure, beat him, and how.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Wow, the establishment is just grasping at straw men.

redguy on February 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Fenris on February 6, 2014 at 5:52 PM

I knocked Jindal off my short list, after he made the comment that it was oh-so-important to pass ‘immigration reform’ prior to the mid terms.
Fail

annoyinglittletwerp on February 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM

There’s also the fact that Walker has one of the biggest conservative victories in the last decade while Ryan has little to show for his budget proposals. Fairly or unfairly, that hurts Ryan.
midgeorgian on February 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Scott Walker supported the principles behind the Gang of 8 amnesty bill and is on the same page as Ryan when it comes to illegal alien amnesty. Scott Walker, who is extremely dull and is like Tim Pawlenty without the charisma, may be a good Wisconsin Gov., but he would be a terrible presidential candidate.

VIDEO – Scott Walker says “Sure!” to illegal alien amnesty. Skip to last seconds of video:
http://youtu.be/PJ6cXpFrk0c

Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are GOP establishment darlings and support amnesty.

I would much rather support a conservative candidate like Ted Cruz, and I am also interested to see where other governors, like Susanna Martinez, come down on the issue.

I will never, ever support a pro-amnesty politician like Paul Ryan or Scott Walker for president.

bluegill on February 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM

“Buzz growing about Mitt Romney and 2016”

It’s been like -20 for a bazillion days in a row and I am desperate for anything that can send the Black Dog packing and now this?

You are cruel and twisted, AP.

Cruel and twisted.

Bruno Strozek on February 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Headline on Fox News right now: “Buzz growing about Mitt Romney and 2016”

Fox has never been able to buck the Cult of Romney. Or the Cult of Christie for that matter. They can’t let it go.

Stoic Patriot on February 6, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Lefty Kevin Drum thinks so.

Why would I care what a lefty thinks, particularly about who to represent the GOP in 2016?

If you’ve ruled out Rubio because of his work on the Gang of Eight, why at this point wouldn’t you also rule out Ryan?

Valid point, AP. I do rule out Ryan given his actions / positions over the past 18 months.

And at this point, Walker has a broader base between centrists and conservatives than Ryan does. What am I missing here?

Nothing. IMHO, Walker should be whom a conservative Republican would consider the front runner for the 2016 nomination.

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 6:10 PM

GOP usually goes “next guy in line” as it did with Dole, McCain, Romney, Reagan, etc. There is no “next guy” this time around, but as the VP candidate last time around Ryan may assume that mantle.

Not endorsing him, just pointing out a trend.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Republicans need to win the Senate in 2014 and keep the house.

Anything else is unmitigated excrement.

Any Republican who announces for 2016 before the midterms should be verbally stoned. I would hope that conservative bloggers and pundits would also abstain from 2016 horse-race speculation.

pilsener on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Wow, the establishment is just grasping at straw men.

redguy on February 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

They don’t dare throw up Ted Cruz or even a Cruz/West ticket. I don’t think they’d like the polling among the base. Instead Jeb Bush is going to be the next “front runner.”

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

I like Kasich.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

He has ‘evolved’ on immigration and openly supports the Senate bill. Actually, what he doesn’t like about the Senate bill is that it’s only a “band-aid” and doesn’t make it easy enough to immigrate here for a job. So he’s more extreme than the lefties.

Fenris on February 6, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Where can I find the source for this?
Thanks.

Mimzey on February 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Why should the GOP run a candidate? They’ll have the same positions as Hillary and the whole thing will only be a waste of a billion dollars to get the same result– Hillary wins.

El_Terrible on February 6, 2014 at 5:50 PM

This. The media chooses both candidates now knowing which one will win.
McLame and Romney were both perfect for Ogabe. Crusty old RINO’s that were guaranteed to depress the turn out of the conservative base.

RINO Rubio or RINO Ryan – say hello to President Shrillary.

I won’t ever vote for a RINO again. That means I won’t vote at all.

DeweyWins on February 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 6:10 PM

VIDEO – Scott Walker says “Sure!” to illegal alien amnesty. Skip to last seconds of video:
http://youtu.be/PJ6cXpFrk0c

Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are GOP establishment darlings and support amnesty.

bluegill on February 6, 2014 at 6:09 PM

That’s good info that I wasn’t aware of. Unless he is willing to change that position, it would be a huge negative to me…and any other legal immigrant who followed the rules / law.

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM

I like Kasich.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Caved on Zerocare.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Hardly

He eliminated himself a long time ago with some of his idiotic positions. He is dead to me.

De Oppresso Liber on February 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Lying 2 bit hack would not even be elected dog catcher in a sane world.
No retreads need apply.

No Time Clock on February 6, 2014 at 6:14 PM

My choice would be Rand Paul for pres, with Cruz, Lee, and as many true -cons/ Tea Partiers as possible in Congress.

The primacy of the representative body needs to be re -asserted, and I believe Rand would actively work to properly diminish executive power, while Cruz would aggressively pursue oversight and Congressional authority.

questionmark on February 6, 2014 at 6:15 PM

No thank you. He can’t be trusted.

gophergirl on February 6, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Ryan and Rubio are dead to me. I am done voting for back stabbing RINO’s. Been there done that. No more. So if the DOP wants to make Ryan or God forbid Rubio or rehash Mittens they can go pound sand.

Minnfidel on February 6, 2014 at 6:15 PM

I think Ben Carson would be unbeatable, but I doubt he’d run.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Scott Walker is getting buzz, but he strikes me as having too much baggage.

What baggage does Walker have that any other candidate wouldn’t have? His collective bargaining reform will only help him with Republican primary votes. I doubt the frivolous ethics complaints will hurt him. Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see any campaign-damaging baggage.

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are novelty candidates, not to be taken seriously.

Paul and Cruz are to be dismissed at the establishments own risk. Both are much better at arguing for conservative policy than any other candidate in the last two cycles. Neither are lightweights.

And although I used to think Bobby Jindal might have a chance, he’s had a rough past couple of years.

I’ve always been high on Jindal, but talking to some of my conservative Louisiana friends, they see his governorship as somewhat of a disappointment.

midgeorgian on February 6, 2014 at 6:17 PM

NO.

I wouldn’t vote for Ryan for any office after his about face on amnesty and his betrayal of working Americans and our military personnel.

thatsafactjack on February 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM

This.

Ryan is a duplicitous POS. I mute him almost as fast as I mute Obama, Schumer, Van Holland, et al.

BuckeyeSam on February 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM

canopfor on February 6, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Somebody doesn’t like Hillary’s cheerleaders soaking up money for her.

KCB on February 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Sorry, being embarrassed in the VP debate doesn’t even get you in the door

Brock Robamney on February 6, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Oof, I just remembered the disastrous VP debate.

Punchenko on February 6, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Overrated Paul Ryan was a terrible failure as a VP candidate in 2012. He lost a debate to Joe Biden, of all people, in humiliating fashion.

bluegill on February 6, 2014 at 6:01 PM

I’m not supporting Ryan for POTUS, but this is ridiculous. I went back to this thread, and found not only that virtually all polls indicated that Ryan won the debate, but also found these comments:

The Dems I watched it with we’re embarrassed of Biden. All agreed that Ryan was far more presidential and likable. Biden repulsed the very people whose support he is trying to win.

Biden misfired badly. Obama-Biden is now 0 for 2 in the debates. Voters are not reacting well to the Obama-Biden ticket the more they see them unscripted. Opposite is true for Romney and Ryan, who continue to surge as voters see and hear more from them unfiltered.

This does not bode well for Obama’s chances. Voters continue to move toward Romney in the final weeks.

bluegill on October 12, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Biden did what he had to do tonight and that was make Chris Matthews happy while alienating the rest of the country — especially female voters.

Punchenko on October 11, 2012 at 11:34 PM

The lefty chorus is getting quieter as the night rolls on.

Calm, cool, collected and PRESIDENTIAL beats loud, obnoxious, and unhinged when vying for national leadership.

Punchenko on October 11, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Bash Ryan for the stuff you don’t like about him, but don’t re-write history to prop up your dislike of him.

Athanasius on February 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Republicans need to win the Senate in 2014 and keep the house.

Anything else is unmitigated excrement.

Any Republican who announces for 2016 before the midterms should be verbally stoned. I would hope that conservative bloggers and pundits would also abstain from 2016 horse-race speculation.

pilsener on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

We’re not in danger of losing the House. Geographic self-sorting favors congressional Republicans, there’s a historic tendency to vote against the party in charge during the midterms and Republicans are more likely to show up in off-year elections.

The Senate’s going to come down to a handful of states. We should be able to win that, as long as we don’t nominate far-right idiots like Richard Mourdoch, Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle.

Mister Mets on February 6, 2014 at 6:19 PM

If Paul and Cruz are both serious, they should declare themselves as a ticket at the start of the primary season. Instead of splitting tea party votes, get them all behind one guy (I’d prefer Rand at the top – he has broader appeal).

One of them can win. If both run they both lose.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:20 PM

I like Kasich.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

He’s a meathead. And I voted for him for governor. I don’t feel like listening to Dems vilify him for his time working for Bear Stearns.

BuckeyeSam on February 6, 2014 at 6:21 PM

A BIG no on Ryan. We’ve gone the establishment, compassionate “conservative” route the last 2 elections. How’d that work out for us?

Remember: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

Drebin on February 6, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Hahahahaha.

The GOPe names just keep a comin’. They’re throwing the spaghetti against the wall and hoping something sticks, terrified because of those feisty men who fight them whom they know are waiting in the wings.

INC on February 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM

I like that, spaghetti against the wall

Paul Ryan looted military pensions. He’s due a beating in 2014.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Thank you

Paul Ryan and Rubio voiced those despicable Americans for a Conservative Direction amnesty ads last year. The ones fronted by Zuckerberg’s liberal fwd.us group. The ads are back, minus their voices, and each time they run I have Ryan flashbacks.

I also cannot forget how Cruz fought to stop Obamacare, but Ryan was sent to ‘negotiate’ with Obama over the shutdown, and Ryan changed the topic from Obamacare, to making a deal to trim Social Security entitlements and walked out with a deal that gave Obama a free lunch.

Who showed up to stand with the WWII vets at the memorial?
It wasn’t spaghetti face the wonder boy

entagor on February 6, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Pence!

KCB on February 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Pence!

KCB on February 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM

YES!

annoyinglittletwerp on February 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM

If Paul and Cruz are both serious, they should declare themselves as a ticket at the start of the primary season. Instead of splitting tea party votes, get them all behind one guy (I’d prefer Rand at the top – he has broader appeal).

One of them can win. If both run they both lose.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:20 PM

^^^^^ this.

For 2016 we have to have one true conservative candidate so we don’t split the vote.

gophergirl on February 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

I like Kasich.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Sorry but if we’re going to opt for governors who supported Medicaid expansion/Obamacare or amnesty we might as well have a second look at the surrender weasels already being offered up.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Where can I find the source for this?
Thanks.

Mimzey on February 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Here

Fenris on February 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Bash Ryan for the stuff you don’t like about him, but don’t re-write history to prop up your dislike of him.
Athanasius on February 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Saying Ryan came out of that debate looking more likable than Biden is faint praise, indeed.

Also, since then I have soured on Ryan tremendously. He has gone full out on amnesty, and, looking back, I will admit that he was a terrible candidate. He really brought nothing to the table.

Maybe you want to make excuses for Ryan now, but we really have better options. We don’t need to go with that establishment retread. During the 2012 campaign, of course I would support him over Obama. But I don’t want to get stuck with pro-amnesty squish on the ticket again.

bluegill on February 6, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Hopefully Paul Ryan will be the guy that gets beat in the primary or general election in 2014.

bw222 on February 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM

A BIG no on Ryan. We’ve gone the establishment, compassionate “conservative” route the last 2 elections. How’d that work out for us?

Remember: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

Drebin on February 6, 2014 at 6:21 PM

I would not call the last two compassionate conservatives. We have not seen a Compassionate Conservative campaign since 2000. These last two were just moderate political hacks.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I like Kasich boring.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Fixed it.

bw222 on February 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM

To a pulp.

2Tru2Tru on February 6, 2014 at 6:27 PM

I like Kasich boring.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Fixed it.

bw222 on February 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Touche. I’m just trying to throw out names other than the same guys being constantly discussed.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:28 PM

No

scboy on February 6, 2014 at 6:28 PM

If you’re going to compare potential candidates, the only method that seems accurate is to go issue by issue.

Immigration? I don’t see a lick of difference between Ryan and Walker, although Ryan has shilled unbelievably hard for Boehner’s push which Walker hasn’t come close to doing. But on the merits of the issue, I haven’t seen much of a distinction between Ryan and Walker.

On the other side of the issue, the major non-RINOs would be Cruz and Rand Paul. Both are preferable in my view compared to the others. But then you get to other issues involving Cruz and Paul, such as the split in their foreign policy beliefs and such.

Ultimately, I’d say the GOP will initially resort to the “best loser” manner of picking the nominee, which is essentially how McCain, Romney, and Dole all won the nomination.

If I remember correctly, it was actually Ron Paul who was the runner-up in terms of official convention delegates, yet Gingrich/Santorum were in second place so far as popularity went (I seriously can’t recall which of the two was poised to have a better shot of beating Romney, as I’ve tried to erase that whole primary season from my mind).

As for Paul Ryan, I’ll never forget his disappointing performance against Biden of all people during the VP debate. I don’t think Ryan did as bad as it’s been suggested, but his main fault was the foreign policy. It’s also the one area of politics where Ryan has consistently been more reclusive towards publicly discussing, such to the point where even a lot of Republicans aren’t fully aware of where he stands on foreign affairs.

I don’t even think Ryan is this amazing, “budget wonk” that people make him out to be, as despite my comparative youth, I still recall the days when he shilled for Medicare Part D, the TARP, and other Bush-era government spending. Honestly, I wouldn’t say Ryan has many of the other potential candidates beat in anything other than style, which, given the current president, isn’t indicative of much.

Aizen on February 6, 2014 at 6:28 PM

I like Kasich.

eski502 on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Sorry but if we’re going to opt for governors who supported Medicaid expansion/Obamacare or amnesty we might as well have a second look at the surrender weasels already being offered up.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

What makes Kasich even more loathsome is how he tried to claim that Medicaid expansion wasn’t tied to ObamaCare (which he had criticized). The 2 were/are inextricably linked and Kasich just showed he was more than happy to get on the federal dole like so many other parasites.

Bitter Clinger on February 6, 2014 at 6:29 PM

After McCain & Romney, if the Republican Party gives us Ryan, Christie or Jeb, they will be borrowing from Pelosi by telling us Conservatives to yet again “Embrace the suck.”

NixTyranny on February 6, 2014 at 6:30 PM

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