During a news-packed interview with radio’s Hugh Hewitt, House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan–the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee–said 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney should run for president again.
“I would welcome it,” Ryan said when Hewitt asked him if Romney should run again. “I was with him last Thursday. I think he should run. I think people are getting to know who he really is. I think there’s buyer’s remorse, and I think he’d make an outstanding president. He’s said emphatically though that he won’t do it.”
When asked about notions out there that someone can’t run three times and can’t be the nominee after losing in the general election, Ryan said it’s been done before. “I wish he would,” Ryan said. “I think he’d be a unifier. But I’ll take Mitt at his word, and he’s pretty clear he’s not going to.”
When Hewitt–who said he thinks Ryan should be the Speaker of the House–asked Ryan if he’d make a move to replace John Boehner as Speaker, Ryan said he doesn’t want the job because he doesn’t have time for it, despite having run to be vice president of the United States. “Look, I base my decisions on what is right for me and my family,” Ryan said. “That’s a job where you’re expected to travel all weekend. My kids are 9, 11, 12 years old. I’m doing cub scouts, cross country, soccer, math with my family. I’m just not going to spend my weekends [away from my family]. It’s just that simple. I prefer being a policy chairman. I prefer being a committee chairman writing the policy.”
Ryan did say however that he’s been “broached with” the job of being Speaker a “number of times” and that “everybody says that” when Hewitt said that since Eric Cantor was defeated, there’s nobody who can run the House except for Ryan or Boehner.
Then when Hewitt said that Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, “would be a better Speaker than the Speaker [Boehner],” Ryan said demurred.
“I’m not going to get into the personality conflicts,” Ryan said. “Jeb, as you probably know, is my best friend in conference. But I’m not going to get into that.”
Ryan also wouldn’t commit, when asked by Hewitt, to allowing the GOP conference enough time after the November midterm elections to have a “healthy discussion” about who should lead the House–Boehner or somebody else–before holding new leadership elections, so that the right decision is made this time.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Ryan responded.
Also in the interview, Ryan and Hewitt both criticized Boehner, new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and now former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for refusing to talk to conservative media figures like himself, Mark Levin, or Laura Ingraham.
“John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy–despite a combined 100 invitations, not one of them has appeared on this show in the last two years,” Hewitt said.
“Yeah, I don’t understand that,” Ryan responded. “That puzzles me. Kevin [McCarthy] doesn’t come on either?”
“No, no. And they don’t go anywhere,” Hewitt continued. “They don’t talk to Levin. They don’t show up with Laura Ingraham. That’s why Eric Cantor got beat.”
“Yeah, I don’t get that,” Ryan replied. “I don’t have a good answer for you. I wish I did. Sorry.”