Scott Wong of The Hill writes that “Speculation about [Speaker of the House Paul] Ryan’s future is becoming a parlor game in Washington.” This is in no small measure due to the phenomenal Republican candidacy of Donald J. Trump:
The rise of Donald Trump has given Paul Ryan heartburn all year. And that may not change after Election Day.
The GOP presidential nominee has repeatedly accused Ryan, the nation’s highest-ranking elected Republican, of being disloyal to his campaign.
If Trump is trounced by Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, many believe he’ll turn his wrath — and his millions of loyal followers — against Ryan as he runs for reelection as Speaker.
Trump already appears to be looking for ways to explain his potential loss in the White House race.
Fox News host Sean Hannity, an ally of Trump, is dialing up the rhetoric against Ryan, telling The Washington Post this week that the Wisconsin lawmaker is a “saboteur” who “needed to be called out and replaced.”
And last Friday, top leaders of the far-right House Freedom Caucus held a conference call in which they discussed backing a challenger to Ryan in the Speaker’s race, set for one week after the election, The Hill has learned. Some lawmakers are floating caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), though his aides said he won’t run.
“A lot of conservatives are hearing in great volume back in their districts calls to dump Ryan. If we don’t have somebody that runs against him, it makes us look like we’re complicit,” said a lawmaker on the Freedom Caucus call.
“I think it is a pretty sure bet there will be an opponent to the Speaker in November.”
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