Speaker Ryan makes definitive declaration against a presidential draft
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan gave a Shermanesque declaration about not allowing his name to be placed in nomination for president at the convention.
"Let me be clear: I do not want, nor will I accept the nomination for our party," Ryan said.
Speaking to the party delegates, Ryan said he believed they should only choose from someone who has participated in the primary in the case of a brokered convention.
"Count me out: I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee for our party to be the president, you should actually run for it," he said. "I chose not to do this, therefore I should not be considered. Period. End of story."
Ryan, the top elected Republican in Washington and the 2012 vice presidential candidate, spoke at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington.
Ryan has repeatedly said he is not interested in entering the presidential race, but advocates for such a scenario have pointed out that he was cool to becoming House speaker until he was finally persuaded to take over from John Boehner last year.
Responding to a question about that turn of events, Ryan insisted it was "apples and oranges" compared to his current denial of interest in the presidential nomination.
"Being speaker of the House is a far cry from being president of the United States, specifically because I was already in the House — I'm already a congressman," he said. "So completely non sequitur comparison in my book."
Fueling speculation, he has occasionally issued non-committal answers on the question of entering the 2016 race. He refused to categorically rule out a candidacy in a March interview with CNBC.
"You know, I haven't given any thought to this stuff," Ryan said during that interview. "People say, 'What about the contested convention?' I say, well, there are a lot of people running for president. We'll see. Who knows?"
This won't stop the #NeverTrump crowd from searching for someone else. Their latest target is former CENTCOM commander James Mattis, a man few have even heard of and no one knows anything about.
It may not matter. Trump is likely to get 90% of the delegates available in New York, and perhaps as many in Connecticut and Maryland later this month. He may go into the June 7 California winner-take-all primary in great shape to garner most if not all of the 170 delegates. That would almost certainly give him more than the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination.
If Trump could ever learn the rules and keep the delegates he's won instead of whining how unfair the process is, there may not be need for a second ballot in Cleveland.