The field of potential Republican nominees for president, now down to businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, has been narrowed down from an initial 17 candidates. However, if Trump or Cruz do not secure the 1,237 delegates needed to lock up the nomination — Kasich has no viable path — an entirely new name could emerge in a brokered convention in July. And Stephen Colbert finds that pretty funny.
On Thursday's episode of CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," the comedian discussed the possibility of the Republicans nominating someone new in their convention. In particular, Colbert mocked an idea put forth by former Ohio Rep. John Boehner earlier this week: that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan should be the GOP's man.
"[Republicans] have to find a good compromise candidate. And there is an experienced party elder that everyone respects, and it's John Boehner, who thinks Paul Ryan should do it," joked Colbert.
Boehner seemed to endorse the idea of a Paul Ryan nomination at the Futures Industry Association conference on March 16.
"If we don't have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I'm for none of the above," Boehner said. "They all had a chance to win. None of them won. So I'm for none of the above. I'm for Paul Ryan to be our nominee."
Ryan took over for Boehner as speaker of the house on Oct. 29, 2015, after Boehner resigned. Boehner announced his intentions to retire that month, citing a lack of unity within the Republican Party, but many pundits believe the longtime congressman did want to preside over the expected gridlock facing Congress over the upcoming election cycle. Colbert chided Boehner for, as he saw it, asking Ryan to do the GOP's dirty work once more.
"Paul Ryan already got you out one sticky situation. That does not mean Paul Ryan can be your go-to flunky for everything," said Colbert, launching into a Boehner impression. "Hey, hi, it's me John Boehner. I'm sorry to cancel on your dinner invitation last minute, but you know who is really good at eating food: Paul Ryan."
Ryan has said he has no ambitions to become the GOP presidential nominee if no current candidate can secure the necessary 1,237 delegates before the July convention.
"My goal is to be dispassionate and to be Switzerland, to be neutral and dispassionate and to make sure the rule of law prevails," Ryan told reporters Thursday, “and to make sure that the delegates make their decision however the rules require them to do that."
Currently, Trump has a commanding lead in the delegate count with 678 delegates. Cruz is a distant second with 413 delegates, followed by Kasich with 143 delegates.