Former Speaker of the House John Boehner has a nuclear option – his Plan B — for the Republican National Convention: nominate Paul Ryan to represent the GOP in the 2016 elections. As rumors and threats of a brokered convention loom, Speaker Ryan’s name was thrown into the mix again. Is Boehner making a subtle — or not — push for a contested convention?
According to a Politico report, on Tuesday during a question and answer session at the Futures Industry Association in Boca Raton, Florida, Boehner made a controversial statement about the normal primary process. Plainly stated, he said he gave a nod to Ryan as the party’s nominee if the ballot process fails to select a clear winner.
“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above. 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.”
According to rules governing the selection of a party’s standard-bearer, anyone can be nominated at the convention in Cleveland in July. As a political pundit quipped, Akron’s own LeBron James can be nominated to lead the Republican Party. UPI weighed in on John Boehner’s statement.
— The Patriot (@ThePatriot143) March 16, 2016
“If the primary process does not provide enough delegates for a candidate to win on the first nominating ballot at July’s GOP convention in Cleveland, delegates are free to vote for anyone — whether they were a candidate before or not — in subsequent rounds of balloting until one candidate arrives at the magic number of 1,237.”
Since resigning from the Congress’ top post months ago, Boehner slipped into a quiet life of retirement. Today, he splits time between his Ohio home, Florida, and Washington on occasion. Politics has not been on his daily to-do list, and he’s largely stayed away from the fray. However, with the emergence and dominance of Donald Trump, who’s closer to earning the Republican Party’s nomination for POTUS, it was only a matter of time before the once-prominent power broker offered his viewpoint.
It’s not the first time John Boehner dropped Paul Ryan’s name as a good pick to lead the party; insiders say he spoke about the possibility long ago, albeit privately. However, this marks the first time he publicly divulged his choice for the presidency.
John Boehner Wants Paul Ryan to Be the Nomineehttps://t.co/4w45p7jXzi
— Conservative Review (@CR) March 16, 2016
Ryan has been vocal in the past about not running for the nation’s top job. Recently, his tone changed, and some argue he is leaving the door open to the possibility as the convention nears — or a potential implosion occurs. He spoke to CNBC recently about a fight on the floor, should Trump and the remaining field fail to clinch the nomination.
“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. I’m not running for president. I made that decision, consciously, not to.”
Senator Marco Rubio, who pledged to continue all the way to the convention, suspended his campaign after losing his home state of Florida after the second Super Tuesday results. Trump prevailed with 99 delegates in the winner-take-all contest. Meanwhile, Ohio Governor John Kasich won his home state while the former reality TV star took the second spot.
With the field narrowed to three Republican candidates — arguably, two with clear paths to securing the number of delegates needed — like many others, Boehner is weighing in on the political rumpus.
Ryan has emerged as a star among the Washington elite. He has youth on his side, is well versed in economic policy, and was the only face among his colleagues to unite the party after John Boehner retired.
Since then, his popularity diminished. According to recent polls, only 38 percent of Americans are satisfied with his job as house speaker.
It’s unclear if a brokered convention will even take place; public opinion is split. Some favor choosing anyone but Trump, while others say such a move could derail the already splintered party. Today, according to a live CNN broadcast, the outspoken real estate mogul said if he does not win the nomination, the party risks “riots” from his supporters.
Should Paul Ryan, at the behest of John Boehner, accept the nod if given the chance?
[AP Photo/Andrew Harnik]