Paul Ryan, R-Wis., reportedly is taking the weekend to consider entreaties from fellow Republicans to enter a bid for the soon-to-be vacant speaker of the House position. A favorite among many Republicans, Ryan has thus far rebuffed calls to run from the likes of departing Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
As Ryan deliberates at home in Wisconsin, Sunday’s political talk shows will gravitate around the GOP’s wide-open contest for House speaker. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who has announced his ambitions for the position, is scheduled to join ABC’s “This Week.” Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., a prominent member of the House’s Tea-Party-aligned Freedom Caucus, is set to appear on Fox News.
At least a half dozen other Republican lawmakers are booked elsewhere on the Sunday news circuit to mull over the GOP’s leadership tumult.
Boehner stunned the political establishment in late September when he announced his abrupt resignation as congressman and speaker of the House. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy quickly assumed the mantle of front-runner for the departed spot before he, too, reduced party members to sobs by dropping out of the race late last week.
Since then, the GOP has entered a state of fractious uncertainty. Mainstream party leaders have waffled as Tea-Party-aligned Republicans, several dozen of whom have joined the upstart Freedom Caucus, have maneuvered for an upset.
Democrats have been quick to label the strife an indication of unsustainable tensions within the GOP. “It’s easy to poke fun at the chaos,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, suggesting that the next speaker will face the same challenges as Boehner did.
But a leading Republican strategist told CNN the situation is “a good thing” -- evidence of a constructive political process at work.
The Freedom Caucus, whose membership remains secret, has put its weight behind Daniel Webster, R-Fla., a conservative whose congressional seat has been threatened by the state-mandated redrawing of Florida redistricting lines to accord with an anti-gerrymandering law.
Some remain hopeful that Ryan, the 2012 contender for vice president, might eventually relent and add his name to the list of contenders for the speakership.
But others have doubts. “He told me, ‘Hell no,’ three times yesterday,” Republican congressman and fellow Wisconsinite Glenn Grothman told Fox News. “I don't even ask anymore.”