Paul Ryan's Presidential "No" Actually Makes Me Feel Sorry For Him
How many different ways can a person say "No"? House Speaker Paul Ryan is trying them all out this election season, and he's getting fed up. Tuesday marked yet another time where Ryan denied a presidential run in any way, shape, or form as he held a press conference at the Republican National Committee and said, "Let me be clear: I do not want, nor will I accept the Republican nomination." I suspect he and his speechwriters have several thesauruses lying around, because the denial didn't end there.
In the exasperated tone a parent has when scolding his children, Ryan continued, "I believe that you should only choose a person who actually participated in the primary. Count me out."
Then: "I chose not to. Therefore, I should not be considered. Period. End of story."
Then again, later in the speech: "So, let me say again, I'm not going to be our party's nominee."
Ryan's fatigue over his audience's deafness is warranted. At a news conference in March, the first question asked of Ryan was whether he would run, after John Boehner had remarked he supported Ryan as the nominee. "It is not me. I thought I was pretty clear. Let's just put this thing to rest and move on," Ryan said.
More and more people began pestering him with the question last month. In an interview with CNBC, he replied to the question of whether he'd run for president, "I'm happy where I am, so no." In an interview with POLITICO, Ryan was asked the same presidential query and replied, "No, I am not going to be the president. I am not going to be the nominee." It got so bad that Ryan's spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said to Reuters, "The speaker is grateful for the support, but he is not interested. He will not accept a nomination."
The fact that the Ryan presidential dream (or nightmare, to him?) lives on, perhaps reveals how desperate the GOP establishment is for a model alternate to Donald Trump.
It seems he's aware he's starting to sound like a broken record. In Tuesday's speech, Ryan quickly pivoted to address why he'd been so politically active lately. Last week, he released a campaign-style video called "Politics These Days," which outlined his platform for his "Confident America" initiative. He said that in light of the GOP upheavals of this election, he was only working to ensure the "integrity" of the Republican party. "Not running does not mean I'm going to disappear," he said. Personally, I think it's sad that an attempt at being outspoken evidently gets mistaken for a bid for presidency in today's political landscape.
Ryan walked out of the press conference shaking his head. If only for his blood pressure's sake, I hope the presidential speculation dies down, at least somewhat.