John Boehner wants Paul Ryan for President

posted at 1:01 pm on March 16, 2016 by John Sexton

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner has a suggestion for the Republican Party. If Donald Trump fails to reach the needed number of delegates to become the nominee, nominate current House Speaker Paul Ryan instead. Politico reports on the conversation with Boehner:

“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above,” Boehner said at the Futures Industry Association conference here. “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.” … Boehner, who now splits his time between Florida, Ohio and D.C., had long whispered to friends that he believes Ryan could be the party’s political savior if it came to that.

A spokesman for Boehner later clarified that he was talking about a scenario in which none of the current candidates could win. Asked about the possibility of stepping in at a contested convention by CNBC, Paul Ryan quickly quashed the idea:

“You know, I haven’t given any thought to this stuff,” Ryan said in the exclusive interview at the Capitol. “People say, ‘What about the contested convention?’ I say, well, there are a lot of people running for president. We’ll see. Who knows?”

[…]

“I actually think you should run for president if you’re going to be president, if you want to be president,” Ryan said in the interview. “I’m not running for president. I made that decision, consciously, not to.”

So, like Mitt Romney, Ryan seems to be saying the nominee should be one of the people already running. However, a contested convention is still a real possibility. Despite his wins Tuesday night, Trump’s current pace is not enough to get the 1.237 delegates needed to secure the nomination. The Hill reports:

About 60 percent of the 2,472 GOP delegates have been awarded, and Trump has won about 47 percent of them.

If he continues to win at that same clip, he’d fall more than 100 delegates short of 1,237, which would set up a contested convention.

Of course part of the reason Trump is only getting 47 percent is that there are so many other candidates in the race. Marco Rubio’s decision to suspend his campaign Tuesday night after a disappointing loss in Florida helps clear the field a little more. However, there is some reason to think Rubio’s voters will not transfer themselves to Trump, at least not so long as someone like Kasich remains is in the race. A recent Ohio poll found 3/4 of Rubio’s voters listed Kasich as their second choice. In other words, narrowing the field will help Trump in theory but, despite being somewhat gracious to Rubio last night, he can’t count on picking up most of Rubio’s voters.


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