Paul Ryan believes that now is the time to rally behind one candidate who can beat both Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the 2024 election, and that candidate is Nikki Haley.
Last month, during an interview with CNN, the former Speaker of the House and vice presidential candidate said that Haley was a “visionary” who could serve as the “perfect person” to counter Joe Biden’s dreary message of “Bidenomics” and culture war. Now he’s begun lobbying other Republicans to back Haley as the first contests of the primary approach, starting with Rep. Mike Gallagher, a conservative lawmaker from Wisconsin.
The Washington Examiner writes:
“I think now is the time for a guy like you to endorse,” Ryan allegedly said in a message. “Plus, her foreign policy/world views track closest to yours. She brings the most excitement.”
The former speaker also allegedly expressed skepticism about Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) ability to expand his share of support in the race. “I like Ron [DeSantis], but don’t think he is the growth stock Niki [sic] is. Just following up per our talk [in] September. Go Packers!”
Gallagher serves as the chairman of both the Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party and the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Information Technologies, and Innovation.
Ryan’s spokesperson pointed the newspaper toward his praise of Haley’s campaign on CNBC Thursday, according to the report.
When asked about the conversation between the congressman and former Speaker, Gallagher’s office maintained that he would not be endorsing anyone for president.
Haley, who served as UN Ambassador and governor of South Carolina, but never in the House or Senate, has received few supporters from the congressional GOP.
Only Ralph Norman, a House member from South Carolina, has thrown his weight behind Haley’s campaign.
Following strong debate performances, Haley has gained traction over the past couple months and finds herself catching the former president in New Hampshire, the nation’s first primary, which will be held on January 23.
She currently trails both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis in Iowa.