For some conservatives, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) isn’t the saviour they’re looking for to end the House GOP’s gridlock.
A wide swath of Republicans are urging Ryan to run to replace outgoing House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) after his heir apparent stunned Washington on Thursday by ending his own bid for the job.
Everyone from Boehner himself to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, with whom Ryan ran as his vice-presidential pick, is reportedly urging Ryan to step up.
Ryan initially refused to even consider the possibility but is now apparently mulling it over.
But some Boehner antagonists are letting it be known that Ryan, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, is not their ideal alternative.
The Hill documented some of this dissent on Friday.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) criticised one of Ryan’s biggest legislative achievements: a budget agreement he once reached with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), then the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. And Rep. John Fleming (R-Louisiana) insisted that Ryan is more of a speaker contender in the media than in the legislative chamber itself.
“I think that’s more media-driven. I think that’s you guys who keep talking about Paul Ryan,” Fleming told The Hill. “Paul has made it clear he’s not interested.”
Some conservative news websites also criticised Ryan’s conservative credentials.
Breitbart News ran a pair of stories Friday titled “FLASHBACK: Paul Ryan Worked For John Boehner In College” and “Rep. Paul Ryan Backed Soviet-Style Law To Decide Workers’ Wages.” The Conservative Review published a piece titled, “Paul Ryan is the Absolute Worst Choice for Speaker.”
And RedState’s Erick Erickson warned that Ryan would be a “dangerous pick” for conservatives.
“In a world of modern media, Ryan would make an attractive Speaker with a young, fresh face and a comfortable demeanour in front of the camera. But he would make it very difficult for House conservatives because to oppose Ryan is, in the minds of much of the press, to oppose conservatism itself,” Erickson wrote while detailing Ryan’s work with establishment-oriented Republicans.
“That’s not true. But that storyline is already baked in.”
Others conservatives aren’t as critical. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan), part of his chamber’s right flank, told The Hill that Ryan would be better than either Boehner or House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), who shocked Washington by withdrawing his speaker bid on Thursday.
“I think that Paul Ryan would be a more acceptable candidate than the current leadership team, primarily because he’s not in the current leadership team,” Amash said. “And I believe he’d provide a different approach.”
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