- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan thumped Paul Nehlen in his GOP primary race over the summer, and apparently will have to outdo the Wisconsin businessman once again if he wants to keep the top post in the House.

Mr. Nehlen announced a long-shot bid Wednesday to unseat Mr. Ryan as speaker of the House.

Paul Ryan is the absolute last person who should be in charge of checking and balancing the executive branch of the federal government from the perspective of the federal legislature, and over the next few months we’ll have a conversation about the proper role of the Speaker of the House and what a real leader could do were he to hold the Speaker’s gavel,” he said in a statement.

The Constitution does not require the speaker of the House to be a member of the House.

Indeed, conservatives floated the idea of nominating someone from outside the chamber - including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich - last year after Rep. John Boehner of Ohio vacated the spot.

Mr. Ryan went on to win the post last October, capturing the support of 237 of the 247 Republicans in the chamber.

In August, he defended his seat in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, where Mr. Nehlen tried to tap into the voter disgust with the GOP establishment that helped fuel Donald Trump’s rise in the Republican nomination race.

Mr. Trump had exchanged pleasantries with Mr. Nehlen via Twitter.

But the New York businessman eventually endorsed Mr. Ryan, who had tepidly backed the Republican presidential nominee in June.

Mr. Ryan dispatched of Mr. Nehlen by a 84 percent to 15 percent margin.

The Nehlen camp has maintained that the victory was anything but easy for Mr. Ryan, pointing out that the incumbent has spent more than $12 million defending his seat, according to campaign finance filings.

The Ryan-Trump relationship, meanwhile, has gone south, and the Wisconsin Republican told rank-and-file members this month that he was done defending the GOP presidential candidate after a 2005 video surfaced in which he boasted about groping women.

Mr. Nehlen made it clear he is looking to capitalize on the split.

“Speaker Paul Ryan – a man who bends over backward to deliver President Obama’s agenda – is the physical embodiment of Washington’s disregard for the American people,” Mr. Nehlen said. “Paul Ryan is a man who is openly working to undermine Donald Trump’s effort to regain the White House for Republicans. The people are right to ask him whose team he’s on.”

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