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Group Ends Effort To Draft House Speaker Ryan Into Election

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Group Ends Effort To Draft House Speaker Ryan Into Election


By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group that wanted to draft House Speaker Paul Ryan as a Republican presidential candidate is shutting down, a day after Ryan’s political operation sent the organization a cease-and-desist letter demanding it halt its campaign.

In a statement on Friday the Committee to Draft Speaker Ryan said it had become “increasingly clear that the Committee’s efforts, however well intended, could become an unwanted distraction to the Speaker’s current responsibilities.”

Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman who was Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate on the Republicans’ 2012 ticket, has said he does not want to run for president this year and disavowed the Draft Ryan group.

With establishment Republicans desperately searching for a way to stop real estate businessman and former reality TV personality Donald Trump’s march toward the party’s nomination for the Nov. 8 presidential election, Ryan’s name has been mentioned often as an alternative.

But Ryan’s political operation, in a letter sent Thursday, told the Draft Ryan group it should not be “misleading people into supporting your organization” and warned of legal risk, saying it believed the group’s actions “may constitute fraudulent solicitation of funds.”

In its statement Friday, the committee acknowledged that neither Ryan nor his allies had sanctioned the group. “Nor was this, as it was incorrectly described in some media reports, an ‘establishment’ effort to oppose any candidate currently running for President,” the statement said.

The effort had been funded by Earle Mack, a former U.S. ambassador to Finland. Mack had told The New York Times that he would spend up to $1 million on the Draft Ryan committee.

The organization had wanted to advance the idea that if the Republican convention to formally nominate the party’s candidate was contested, “the best person to lead our country would be Speaker Paul Ryan,” the statement said.

It said the group had received a “resounding response from around the country” and was confident that if it had stayed in operation, it would have surpassed its goal of collecting 1 million signatures on an online petition to draft Ryan.

A spokesman for Ryan said in response to Friday’s announcement that Ryan was grateful for Mack’s “passion.”

“He (Mack) cares deeply about the future of our country. Speaker Ryan does too, and that’s why he is focused on advancing a bold policy agenda with his House colleagues to unify our party and turn around our country,” the spokesman said.

The Draft Ryan group was only registered with the U.S. Federal Election Commission last week as a Super PAC, an independent political action committee that may raise unlimited sums of money.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Grant McCool)

Photo: U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) holds a news conference after a Republican House caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst



  1. Lynda Groom March 11, 2016

    Now that group can get Ryan to become a true Speaker of the House rather than just another shill for the moneyed elite they would be on to something valuable.

    1. RetDem March 12, 2016

      You don’t think Ayn Ryan will take care of the “moneyed elite” as Speaker? Don’t kid yourself, me, or the rest of the American citizens.

    2. Bob Eddy March 12, 2016

      Now if they can get Ryan to be a true Speaker of the House rather than just a shill for the Tea Baggers they would be on to something really valuable.

    3. FireBaron March 13, 2016

      Remember, Lynda, the same folks who ousted Cryin’ John weren’t too happy to see Ryan was the one who got the job. They wanted someone who is more open in his obstructionism, instead of someone who mutters and works as a backstabber. That’s why he and Eric Cantor made such a great pair.

  2. RetDem March 12, 2016

    Thank you, Amen!!!! All we need is Ayn Ryan as our POTUS!

    1. RED March 14, 2016

      Anyone deranged enough to believe the Ayn Rand non-sense is too sick & disgusting to be among people much less a President!

  3. malsatisfait March 12, 2016

    Why would anyone put up ‘lurch’ for potus? His only accomplishment was to torpedo the Simpson-Bowles commission.

  4. CrankyToo March 12, 2016

    “the Committee’s efforts…could become an unwanted distraction to the Speaker’s current responsibilities.”

    Well, we don’t want to see Numbnutz distracted from his “responsibilities” to:

    take food out of the mouths of babies and old folks;
    make it more difficult for our workers to find jobs, and our kids to go to college;
    transfer our treasure to the off-shore accounts of his elitist masters;
    stick his nose (and his religious convictions) into every woman’s vagina;
    perpetuate the decay of our roads, bridges and power grid;
    deter the voting public from its civic duty;
    adorn our public squares with religious icons;
    engage the cream of American youth in conflicts abroad;
    sully America’s reputation in the global community;
    and obstruct the enactment of any legislation which might actually advance the middle class (ergo, American society, in general).

    Yeah, that’s one busy son of a b!tch.

    But there are only two reasons why Paul Ryan isn’t running for President in 2016 (and will not run in 2020): he knows he could not possibly win in a climate in which 60 to 70% of the voting public despises the GOP, and he’s young enough to wait until HIllary or Bernie is term-limited.

  5. Bob Eddy March 12, 2016

    Paul Ryan doesn’t want to be President…finally something he and I agree on! Hiring going up. Unemployment going down. Slow, but steady growth. Stock market still inching up. Deficit down. Wages finally inching up….Yep, no doubt in my mind Republicans could turn this around. After all they have a history of doing just that!

    1. Eleanore Whitaker March 12, 2016

      Ah yes…the history of the Republican turnaround…Nearly every Republican president turned the country around with government shut downs, slash and burn Great Depression economics and Trickle Up BS that now in their own states has proven their conservatism isn’t conservatism but some INquisition and Torture…The states that turned around are the ones that disn’t sit back waiting for relic polluter industries to provide jobs…The states that turned Wall Street around were not Republican states.
      Kansas and Iowa had to shut down their schools before the school year ended because they can’t afford to keep them open. Jindal left LA in such an economic mess like Brownback, Le Paige, Scott, Snyder and Walker….ah the glories of conservatism. Brown beat women’s rights, dumb down kids and defund education. Yep…that’s real progress and advancement for the US. NOT

  6. Eleanore Whitaker March 12, 2016

    Ryan knows he would never get the vote of anyone not tied to Charles and David Koch. Ryan and has been since his earliest political days a spawn of the Koch power lust. Charles and David Koch are no different than Mellon, Cargnegie, J.P. Morgan, Vanderbilt or any other of the earliest titans of moneylust. When these Robber barons days ended, some committed suicide, others end up like Jay Gould in prison for trust violations and fraud and others were forced to dump their assets on taxpayers in the form of charitable trusts in order not to lose their names attached to their mansions. Most of which are now government owned museums.

    Ryan will have a long, long wait if he thinks he can EVER be president. The tide has changed and Republicans are all but in the toilet thanks to their bullying, their lies, deception, distortions and addiction to power. The next Republican president hasn’t been born yet.

  7. kingartie1 March 12, 2016

    Then he’d have to act more like a humanist, a man of the people, instead of the smug, president basher and mutterer of so many bogus, and harmful, banalities we have all come to know and loathe. Social security is broke, ACA is a job-killing catastrophe, the free market is tantamount to G-O-D, government is an impediment to freedom, and so on. We’d yawn, except such toxic clowns have too much power for us to ever be less than vigilant, otherwise they’d steal our shoes while we’re still wearing them and dump us in the minimum wage ditch while they take paid family leave and fly off in their private jets. So egalitarian and socially just they are. Just not smart enough to realize what stupid corporate fascist shills they are becoming.

  8. charley williams March 12, 2016

    Can you blame him, who the hell ( in their right mind ) would want all the crap that goes along with that job !

  9. Eden Keel March 12, 2016

    good call this crud is really a charlatan he has told so many lies to us wiscosnites and his gerrymandered district keeps him in office he is not liked at all here in wisconsin we know his lies

    1. FireBaron March 13, 2016

      Then why do you keep reelecting him?


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