Speaker-in-waiting Paul Ryan has invited former failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his special guest for his Speaker election on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Ryan, of course, was Romney’s running mate during their failed presidential campaign to unseat President Obama. Since losing the election, however, Ryan has returned to the spotlight as the one chosen by the Republican House of Representatives to lead them forward in the post-Boehner era.
Why Ryan would choose to feature his past with Romney is unclear, but the pair have remained good friends after working on the campaign trail together. A spokesman for Ryan did not return a request for comment.
Romney was also a key driver in convincing Ryan to run for Speaker in spite of Ryan’s reservations.
“I wouldn’t presume to tell Paul what to do, but I do know that he is a man of ideas who is driven to see them applied for the public good,” Romney said in a statement earlier this month, revealing that he called Ryan to urge him to run for Speaker.
“Paul has a driving passion to get America back on a path of growth and opportunity. With Paul, it’s not just words, it’s in his heart and soul,” he added.
At one point this month, Romney joked that he would like to clone the Wisconsin representative so that he could be speaker of the House and run for president in the future.
But Romney has not aged well with many conservatives who distrusted the failed presidential candidate who failed the party’s fight against Obama. In a recent interview with CNN, Romney criticized conservatives in the Republican party for being “bomb throwers.”
“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.”