In a shocker of a statement, former House Speaker John Boehner came out of media hiding to announce his pick for president – and it’s someone who’s not even running, the current speaker, Paul Ryan.
“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, Politico reported. “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 reminded “anybody can be nominated” at this summer’s GOP convention, set for Cleveland.
And, he said, why should the party support someone like Donald Trump, or Sen. Ted Cruz, when it could have a real candidate, like Ryan?
Electing Cruz would be akin to electing “lucifer,” Boehner said, Politico reported.
Boehner’s view isn’t entirely surprising. Friends and political insiders remind he’s called Cruz a “jackass” in the past, and he’s also been outspoken against Trump. But his support for Ryan may fall on deaf ears. Ryan hasn’t been exactly open to the idea of seeking the White House – though he gave signals this week he might reconsider.
A spokesman for Boehner later described the ex-speaker’s remarks as “off-the-cuff comments about a hypothetical scenario,” in an email to Bloomberg News.
Boehner, an Ohio Republican who resigned last fall after pressure from conservatives on Capitol Hill, said he voted for Gov. John Kasich, in the Ohio primary. Boehner and Kasich served together in the House for a decade.
Ryan, who’s previously ruled out a run for the White House – and who even told aides to press a political committee that sprung up to get him to enter the race to shut down operations – suggested, in the wake of Tuesday’s elections, he might very well reconsider.
In an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Ryan mulled the possibility of entering the race if the Republican candidates don’t have enough delegates to clear convention rules.
“You know, I haven’t given any thought to this stuff,” he said, the Hill reported. “People say, ‘What about the contested convention?’ I say, well, there are a lot of people running for president. We’ll see. Who knows.”
That’s a different line from just a few weeks ago when he actually urged, through his aides, a political committee that was set up to draft him to run quit operations.
Still, he remained uncommitted, saying a contested convention was not the best way to receive the nomination.
“I actually think you should run for president if you’re going to be president,” Ryan said, CNBC reported. “I’m not running for president. I made that decision, consciously, not to.”
Political analysts largely see a contested convention as a real possibility, particularly in the wake of Tuesday’s big Ohio win for Gov. John Kasich.