The efficacy of the plan is in massive doubt, but apparently the big Republican donors, frightened of Trump costing the GOP everything, are working to draft GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan as their nominee in July.
Charles Koch is confident House Speaker Paul Ryan could emerge from the Republican National Convention as the party’s nominee if Donald Trump comes up at least 100 delegates shy, he has told friends privately.
Koch believes Ryan would be a “shoo-in” at a contested convention, should the campaign get to that point. Though Koch’s wealth gives him significant influence within the Republican Party, it does not necessarily translate into skill in political prognostication. Still, he and his brother David are fond of Ryan. As a source close to the brothers told The Huffington Post, they appreciate the agenda he has pursued as speaker, including opposition to tax extenders and heightened warnings against corporate welfare — positions that contrast with the admittedly vague portfolio pushed by Donald Trump.
One source close to Ryan said he would only be interested in it if the party could unite behind him, a scenario he can’t envision. “I don’t know what to tell you? He doesn’t want the nomination. And can you imagine the backlash from the Trump forces if someone who didn’t run for president wins the nomination? It would be complete chaos,” he said.
A second source close to the Koch brothers said he wasn’t aware of a conversation about Ryan, but it didn’t surprise him.
Emails to Charles and David Koch were not returned.
Mark Holden, general counsel for Koch Industries, told HuffPost the claim was “completely false.”
“Let me be clear, we never have advocated for a specific candidate in a presidential primary, and we have no plans to do so now,” Holden said.
People close to Ryan continue to insist publicly that he has no interest in the nomination. And one associate of the speaker said he “guarantees” there has been no conversation with Charles Koch about the possibility, “because Paul has not had any conversation about it. He won’t engage any conversation about it.”
It's not really wishful thinking when you have billions of dollars and massive political influence within the GOP. Still, this all depends on Ryan, who once again went way out of his way Monday to deny he is running by sounding like someone running.
“I do believe people put my name in this thing, and I say, 'Get my name out of that,'” he said on“The Hugh Hewitt Show." "If you want to be president, you should go run for president. And that’s just the way I see it.
“I’m not that person. I’d like to think my face is somewhat fresh, but I’m not for this conversation. I think you need to run for president if you’re going to run for president, and I’m not running for president. Period, end of story.”
Ryan also voiced uncertainty over the Republican National Convention in July, arguing it might have different rules than the 2012 version.
“I don’t know, that’s not my decision,” he said of Rule 40(b), which requires candidates to have the backing of at least eight state delegations.
“That is going to be up to the delegates,” Ryan added. "I’m going to be an honest broker and make sure that the convention follows the rules as the delegates make the rules.
“It should not be our decision as leaders. It is the delegates’ decision. So I’m not going to comment on what these rules look like or not."
He's not running, but he's not ruling out convention delegates "making the rules" either, and should those delegates decide to get behind Paul Ryan in July, well, it's the delegates' decision, right?
All I know is that July in Cleveland is going to be epic, which is basically the first time "July in Cleveland" and "epic" has ever been used together.