Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) last week turned his back on calls for him to save his party as a last-minute candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. His excuse was that he had a lot of work to do in the House.
He’s not lying.
The first order of business is protecting the GOP majority from the prospect of collapse withDonald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) at the top of the ticket in November. Right now, about 20 of the 30 Republican House seats the Democrats need to win to claim the majority are in danger.
To try to reinforce the party’s defenses against that challenge, Ryan had to break fundraising records in the first quarter of the year, hauling in $11 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee. He needs to beat that pace in the second quarter.
And Ryan will have to find those dollars while Trump continues to whip the GOP base into a frenzy against the party’s Washington establishment— including raising the specter of riots at the Republican National Convention. There is no more obvious personification of that establishment than the party’s top elected official – the very same Speaker.
Trump is increasing the pressure with daily accusations that the establishment is manipulating the delegate selection rules to steal the nomination from him.
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