Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney admits he wishes there were two Rep. Paul Ryans — one to run for Speaker and one to run for president in the future.
“We need Paul in two spots at once and I — you know, there haven’t been a lot of people that have gone on from Speaker to the White House, so I’d hate to lose him as a potential contender down the road for the White House,” Romney said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.
“It sounds like you’re coming out in favor of cloning Paul Ryan…” Tapper observed.
“I wish we could,” Romney replied. “I mean, you know, I think the reason he has such respect, is because this is a guy who has laid out what he believes. He’s a policy wonk. He is an advocate of the policies of Jack Kemp, and people respect who he is.”
Romney admitted that Ryan had a tough decision ahead of him as many members of the Republican establishment were begging him to get in the race for Speaker.
“I’m just glad to know him and to know we have him in our quiver,” Romney said eventually.
When Tapper suggested that members of the Freedom Caucus believed that Ryan wasn’t conservative enough, he praised his former running mate for trying to find common ground with Democrats.
“I think that’s a productive thing,” he said.
Romney criticized members of the Freedom Caucus for their unhelpful “bomb throwing.”
“There are some in our party who think the best approach is throwing bombs,” he said “The problem with bomb throwing so far is that most of the bombs have landed on our own team. That doesn’t help.”