If Rep. Paul Ryan wants the House Speaker’s job, he likely needs to distance himself from departing House Speaker John Boehner.
But a glance at the WayBack Machine reveals that Ryan has been very close to Boehner for a quarter-century.
“While a student, Ryan put up yard signs and did other volunteer work for the congressional campaign of John Boehner, the West Chester Republican who’s now speaker of the House,” the Associated Press noted in a 2012 article about Ryan’s commencement speech at his alma mater, Miami University of Ohio.
Ryan referred to his college gig at a 2012 rally while running for vice president. Boehner introduced Ryan at the event.
“True story, when I was putting up yard signs as a young guy in college I had no idea how to pronounce his name,” Ryan said. “I’ve served with him for fourteen years and we kind of figured it out. John Boehner is a good man. He is a small businessman who came to Congress to fight for jobs and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”
Ryan defended Boehner – and himself – in 2013 against conservative groups that criticized his budget agreement with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. “I think John just kind of got his Irish up. He was frustrated that these groups came out in opposition to our budget agreement before we reached a budget agreement. I was frustrated too.”
Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was personally asked by Boehner and House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy to think about launching a campaign for the top leadership position.
Ryan canceled 48 hours’ worth of fundraising events to focus on the situation in Washington following McCarthy’s surprising withdrawal from the race Thursday.