Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said there’s “potential” for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to be drafted as a presidential nominee at a Republican convention because he is the one person who could unify the party.
“I think it’s just natural that that speculation would happen because he’s one of the great leaders here on Capitol Hill and one of the people who brings both sides, all sides together, I should say,” Hatch told reporters Thursday.
Hatch said there’s currently no serious effort to draft the former VP candidate, who has repeatedly said that he isn’t interested in running. But Hatch’s remarks reflected the high standing Ryan has with many GOP office-holders, who see him as a potential white knight who could salvage the messy GOP White House race.
“He’s one of my close friends and I have absolute confidence in him as a human being and as a leader. He’s a very, very fine human being,” Hatch said.
A new poll released Thursday shows that Ryan would lose to Hillary Clinton by 6 percentage points and would fall 7 points short of Bernie Sanders in the general election.
Hatch had endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential run.