- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 11, 2015

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich warned Sunday that Rep. Paul Ryan should be “very cautious” about running for the top House job lest he hurt his political future by morphing into another John Boehner.

“I think Paul should be very cautious,” Mr. Gingrich said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He is the most prestigious member of the House on the Republican side, he has the best future, he’s still very young.”

Getting the 218 House votes needed to succeed Mr. Boehner as House speaker would be the easy part for Mr. Ryan, he said.

“It’s easy to get 218 on the first vote, and then you get to keeping the government open through a continuing resolution, and then you get to the debt ceiling, and if you’re not careful, by Christmas you resemble John Boehner,” said Mr. Gingrich, who served as speaker from 1995 to 1999.

Meanwhile, members of the anti-establishment House Freedom Caucus said Sunday they would be open to considering a Ryan candidacy for House Speaker even though they have endorsed Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.

“As I’ve said before, Paul Ryan is a friend,” Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who chairs the caucus, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I meet with him every single week. We talk about policy. I think he’d be a great messenger. He’ll come in front of our group and talk to us. I think our group would be favorable towards him. But we’re not there yet.”

Another caucus member, Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, also described Mr. Ryan as “a friend,” saying “we have a close relationship.”

“I spoke to him just on Friday about this, but we have endorsed Daniel Webster, and until somebody is a declared candidate, we’re not going to move to a new candidate,” Mr. Labrador said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Now if new candidates declare themselves, we’re going to ask them to come talk to the House Freedom Caucus, because it’s not about the who. It’s about the what. What are we going to do in the House to change the culture?” Mr. Labrador said.

So far, Mr. Webster and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz have declared their candidacies for speaker, a race that was thrown into turmoil last week when heir-apparent California Rep. Kevin McCarthy abruptly withdrew his name from consideration.

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