- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

According to multiple reports, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is expected to announce his retirement today

It won’t take long for Establishment Republicans and “Never Trump” pundits to begin publicly imploring the Wisconsin Republican to challenge Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination. 

Never Trump Republicans and establishments types in Washington have been pining for a White Knight to sweep in after the expected mid-term defeats this November to challenge Trump for the 2020 nomination. And Ryan appears to come right from central casting to play the part. 

In truth, a Ryan challenge makes perfect sense. 

Ryan was the GOP nominee for Vice President in 2012 and ran a classy, dignified campaign with Mitt Romney. Ryan is highly respected and has been able to publicly distance himself from Trump over the president’s more controversial statements and policies while working with the White House on policies and legislation that Ryan deemed appropriate for the GOP brand. 

Most notably, Ryan helped engineer the Republican tax cut in 2017 resulting in a broad and significant economic bump for individual tax payers as well as corporations and Wall Street. 

Even more importantly, Ryan is the Republican Party’s most important and effective fund-raiser - maybe even more effective than Trump himself. The Ryan campaign machine has raised $11 million in just the first quarter of this year which means a potential Ryun candidacy for president already has a formidable and effective financial apparatus in place. 

One problem with this scenario: Trump has shown that he can defeat establishment-approved, well-funded Republicans when he face down Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and the other 14 nominees in the 2016 primary. However, if Ryan positions himself right and is able to knock away John Kasich, Ben Sasse, Jeff Flake and any other GOP back-benchers who have starry-eyed notions of challenging Trump, he could very well defeat the incumbent president in a one-on-one primary challenge. 

For the Republican Party, these are certainly interesting times. 


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