House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’s not interested in running for President, but he’s already being touted as the person who can be drafted to unite the party if there’s a brokered convention.
He’s not a presidential candidate, but he plays one on TV sometimes.
House Speaker Paul Ryan — who claims he doesn’t want to be President — is planning a top-secret trip to New York next week to hob-knob with “20 or so” GOP donors.
Ryan is looking to raise funds for the Republican Party during the high-roller sit-down, which will take place at the Midtown Mandarin Hotel, The Observer reported Monday.
The meet-and-greet — featuring some of the GOP’s wealthiest donors — is being arranged by billionaire Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, according to The Observer.
The fund-raising news comes a week after Ryan released a video excerpt of himself giving a speech — edited and crafted in such a way that it screamed campaign ad to many who saw it.
The Wisconsin Republican is already being touted as the person who can be drafted to unite the party in the event of a brokered convention in July.
Republicans are looking for ways to stop Donald Trump from landing the GOP nomination. The answer could be Paul Ryan.
Ricketts is collaborating with Randy Kendrick, the wealthy wife of the owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to The Observer.
Kendrick is intimately tied to the Our Principles Super PAC, which The Observer said was formed earlier this year with the goal of preventing GOP front-runner Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination.
A top Republican donor who claimed he was asked to attend the Mandarin meeting leaked the details to The Observer, which is owned by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The donor described himself as ‘disgusted that (Ryan) is saying one thing publicly but secretly trying to garner support with all of these NeverTrump people talking about all their strategies to subvert the people who are voting for Trump and (Ted) Cruz,” the paper said.
Ryan’s staffers have denied that his 43-second video was a coy campaign ad.
Ted Cruz is behind Trump on the delegate count.
They’ve also been equally adamant that Ryan is not quietly preparing to swoop in as a unity candidate if no agreement can be reached on the current GOP contenders.
If neither Trump nor Cruz, a senator from Texas, can secure 1,237 delegates on the first ballot during the party’s July national gathering in Cleveland, the convention would be contested.
In that scenario, delegates become unbound and can support any candidate they like — including Ryan.
Ryan has emphatically stated he’s not trying to subvert the established candidates.
“I do believe people put my name in this thing, and I say, ‘Get my name out of that,’” the Wisconsin pol said earlier this month on radio’s “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”
Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, is arranging Ryan’s meet-and-greet in New York.
“If you want to be President, you should go run for President. And that’s just the way I see it,” he said.
But it’s hard for observers to believe there’s not a “Draft Ryan” plan afoot when the speaker seems so busy inserting himself onto the world stage.
He recently visited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel — where he also sat down to share his opinions with a press gaggle containing foreign reporters.
Ryan also visited neighboring countries and fit in a trip to Germany, where he talked about security issues, according to The New York Times.
But other GOP watchers say Ryan’s trip to New York next week is simply to do what he does best — raise money for the Republican National Committee.
With News Wire Services
With Adam Edelman