Charles Koch believes Paul Ryan a 'shoo-in' at contested convention

You would think a guy worth billions of dollars would be smarter than this. But rich people with money to spend on politics can be just as stupid as any ordinary low information voter out there. 

GOP mega-donor Charles Koch has told friends that he believes Paul Ryan would be a "shoo in" at a contested convention. Ryan himself continues to deny he's a candidate, and support among Republicans for nominating a candidate who never entered a single primary is nearly non-existent.

But the brothers Koch appear to like Ryan while he has fallen from grace with the base of the party.


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.” 

Support for Ryan's nomination may be hard to see, but the rumor churning is making it appear there is a "movement" to get him the nomination. What's fueling the rumors is Ryan's own history. Several times he announced publicly that he would not take the speakership. And yet, after forcing loyalty pledges from the GOP factions, he took the job anyway.

Might he pull off something similar at the convention? This is so unlikely as to be fantasy. It's beyond the point where anyone in the Republican party has the kind of power to force a nominee on the rest of the party. Koch would do well to keep his mouth shut and be prepared to support the nominee whoever it is.

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