Conservative: Ryan would have to make 'hard sell' for Speaker
© Getty Images

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) says Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanZaid Jilani: Paul Ryan worried about culture war distracting from issues 'that really concern him' The Memo: Marjorie Taylor Greene exposes GOP establishment's lack of power The Hill's 12:30 Report - Senators back in session after late-night hold-up MORE (R-Wisc.) will “have a real hard sell” to conservatives in the House if he seeks to replace outgoing Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerAre maskless House members scofflaws? Israel, Democrats and the problem of the Middle East Joe Crowley to register as lobbyist for recording artists MORE (R-Ohio).

“Unless Paul comes out and says, ‘Look, I want to be Speaker, here’s why I want to be Speaker, and here’s why I think I’ll be different and better than John,’ it’s a real hard sell,” Mulvaney said in a radio interview on Thursday, as first reported by Buzzfeed News.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mulvaney also said Ryan will not coast to the House’s top job on his reputation alone.

“You don’t just win because you’re Paul Ryan,” Mulvaney said. “Everybody will look to you, and give you a long look, because you’re Paul Ryan, but you don’t win just because that’s your name.”

Mulvaney is a founding member of the 40-to-50-member House Freedom Caucus, which plans to vote in the Speaker election as a bloc. He said Ryan would have to restore “regular order” to the legislative process if he wants to convince the group to vote for him.

The South Carolina congressman acknowledged that Ryan has “the potential to be a unifying factor” in a splintering party, but said he was doubtful that Ryan will even enter the race.

“I texted very briefly with Paul over the weekend, and everything that I got from him was that he was still a ‘no,’ ” Mulvaney said.

Ryan denied any interest in the House’s top job after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) abruptly dropped out of the race, but Republican leadership in the lower chamber has been trying to change his mind.