Mitt Romney Holds Off on Backing Paul Ryan for Speaker

Failed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, held off on supporting his ex-running mate for Speaker of the House in an interview with David Axelrod, a Democratic strategist who helped elect President Barack Obama—the same Obama who beat Romney in the 2012 election.

“As you know, I’m a big fan of Paul Ryan, I think he’s an extraordinary individual with great capacity. Would love to see [in] any leadership role he wanted to take,” Romney said, according to The Hill, but later adding a clarification in which he stated clearly: “I didn’t say I wanted him as Speaker of the House, I said any role he’d like to take.”

“In some respects, he’s the kind of person I’d like to see as president some day some day,” Romney added. “And I’m not sure being Speaker of the House opens the pathway to the presidency or closes it off.”

Romney’s ambivalence on a potential speakership bid from House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)—his failed running mate in the 2012 election, where he and Ryan lost to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in an election most Republicans thought was easily winnable—shows just how unlikely it is that Ryan will enter the race for Speaker.

Despite a full-on lobbying effort from the permanent political class, lobbyists, and establishment Republicans to get Ryan to run for Speaker—largely because of his long history of support for wide-open borders immigration policies—Ryan seems unlikely to run. A previous report from The Hill quoted a ton of anonymous House GOP members who wanted Ryan to run as saying they didn’t think he would, and noted that Ryan hasn’t even been making phone calls to House Republican colleagues to gauge support.

“Hunkered down at his home in Janesville this week, Ryan hasn’t been making any calls to fellow lawmakers to shore up a potential bid for Speaker,” The Hill’s Scott Wong wrote. “And he has continued to insist he doesn’t want the job, even as party leaders view him as the only candidate who can heal rifts in the GOP conference.”

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Ryan, confirmed to Breitbart News that Ryan has not been calling his colleagues but he has been taking phone calls whenever his colleagues call him.

Wong quoted a senior GOP lawmaker who supports Ryan warning him against a Speakership bid. “I think it would be a mistake for him personally, because I think they will try to destroy him,” the lawmaker said, adding later in Wong’s piece that the House may end in unchartered waters if and when Ryan doesn’t step up.

“If Paul Ryan doesn’t take it, it is anybody’s guess what happens next. It is unchartered waters,” the GOP lawmaker told Wong. “Anybody who tells you they know where this is going either has a time machine or is kidding themselves.”


Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.