There is perhaps no figure more beloved to the elite political class than House Speaker Paul Ryan. The former Mitt Romney running mate has been gushingly covered by the D.C. Beltway media which seems to view him as some sort of hybrid of Jesus Christ and Ronald Reagan and he has become a symbol of the new Republican Party. Unfortunately Ryan isn’t viewed with the same degree of reverence by the more savvy elements of the Tea Party portion of the GOP base to whom he is just a younger, more sober version of his predecessor John Boehner. Now an independently wealthy conservative businessman is preparing to run as a primary opponent of Saint Paul.
The Washington Times is reporting that “Paul Ryan faces primary challenge from wealthy businessman ‘betrayed’ by House speaker”:
A wealthy businessman with tea party ties confirmed Sunday that he is mounting a primary challenge to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, saying that after donating to the Wisconsin Republican’s past campaigns he feels “betrayed” by the speaker on trade deals and immigration.
The businessman, who is not yet revealing his identity, promised that his run will “shake up the establishment in a profound way,” according to a political consultant close to the prospective candidate.
The emergence of a viable Republican challenger in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District is the culmination of a monthslong recruitment effort by tea party activists who say they were double-crossed by Mr. Ryan when he passed a $2 trillion spending package late last year.
Eric Odom, a conservative activist and political consultant in Wisconsin, confirmed with “100 percent certainty” that a local business leader would be running to oust Mr. Ryan.
“I’ve had the privilege of attending multiple meetings with this individual, during which he has expressed his sense of betrayal by Speaker Ryan. He has a strong desire to see real representation for the people of the district versus a congressman who represents special interests in Washington,” he said.
“It’s very personal for him,” Mr. Odom added. “He intends to run a full-scale candidacy that will shake up the establishment in a profound way.”
He acknowledged that it won’t be easy to defeat Mr. Ryan, who was the party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, currently ranks as one of the most powerful Republicans in Washington and has more than $5 million in his campaign war chest.
Ryan may be a sanctimonious, cocky and unflappable operator – he totally gets it that he is a made man – but so did a guy named Eric Cantor and look at what happened to his political career. Ryan may however choose to get out while the getting is good and reconsider showing up to be coronated as Mitt Romney’s heir apparent at this summer’s brokered convention.