Yes, he says he will refuse the nomination, but if Paul Ryan campaigns eventually, he will need to say it is against his will.
How can anyone think that Paul Ryan campaigns by refusing to run?
I’m not sure that Paul Ryan is campaigning but Fox News’ Brett Baier made me worry. He said that Ryan was “much more adamant” that he wouldn’t accept the nomination than he was when he claimed he wouldn’t be House speaker. And, as we all know, Ryan became House speaker.
If Ryan was colluding with those who were talking of drafting him then it would be important for him to establish that he was “forced” to run because the Party needed him. In that case, holding a press conference that is covered widely as part of election story could work as campaigning.
However, at this point I think that Ryan’s refusal is relatively sincere. He spoke directly, in his statement, to the delegates, telling them that he was not qualified to be considered as the nominee. (He also eliminated Mitt Romney).
The Washington Post reports,
On Tuesday, Ryan said that in his role as co-chairman of the convention — usually an honorific title given to the top two congressional caucus leaders — he plans to push a rule that would limit delegates to casting votes on any ballot to those that ran for the nomination in the primary season.
It is hard to imagine Ryan walking back on that promise.
On the other hand, I disagree with George Will that Ryan, by his statement, eliminated John Kasich from being considered for the nomination. In fact, none of the original seventeen candidates are eliminated, including Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush. According to the criteria set by Ryan, all the original candidates can be considered.
I would be a lot happier if Ryan had explicitly said that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the only realistic candidates at a brokered convention.