With the Republican presidential nomination looking more and more like it will be Donald Trump’s for the taking at the Republican National Convention in July, some party members are looking to alternative candidates who could swoop in at the last minute.
Earlier this week, John Boehner, the Republican former Speaker of the House, suggested Paul Ryan (R – WI), the current Speaker of the House, as a prime candidate.
Speaking to reporters at the Future Industries conference in Florida, Boehner said "If we don't have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I'm for none of the above," referring to the requirement that the presidential nominee secure a certain number of delegate votes in the primaries in order to move forward.
"They all had a chance to win. None of them won. So I'm for none of the above. I'm for Paul Ryan to be our nominee" he said.
Read More: New House Speaker Paul Ryan's strong Irish roots and identity
Politico reports that Boehner has “long whispered to friends that he believes Ryan could be the party's political savior if it came to that.”
He has also, in the past, referred to candidate Ted Cruz (R – TX) as “Lucifer” and “a jackass.”
To secure the nomination, candidates must have at least 1,237 delegate votes. At this stage in the primaries, Trump has 678, Cruz has 423 and John Kasich (R – OH), has 143.
Ryan’s spokesperson AshLee Strong stated that he “is grateful for the support, but he is not interested. He will not accept a nomination and believes our nominee should be someone who ran this year.”
However, in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday – the day Washington celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, hence Ryan’s green tie and shamrock pin – Ryan did not totally rule out the possibility of accepting the nomination.
“"You know, I haven't given any thought to this stuff," Ryan said. "People say, 'What about the contested convention?' I say, well, there are a lot of people running for president. We'll see. Who knows?"
He did establish, though, that he would not be running or doing any campaigning for the nomination .
"I actually think you should run for president if you're going to be president, if you want to be president," he said. "I'm not running for president. I made that decision, consciously, not to."
Ryan was elected Speaker of the House last October. As we learned during the 2012 Presidential race when he ran for VP on the Romney ticket, Ryan has strong Irish roots. His Irish ancestor, James Ryan, arrived in the United States from Kilkenny in 1851, just six years after the Great Famine in Ireland began.
Would you prefer Paul Ryan to any of the current Republican presidential candidates? Share your thoughts in the comment section.