Donors are growing increasingly concerned by the war between the Republican establishment candidates as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz seemingly pull ahead in the polls. "These guys are so busy fighting one another that they're only continuing to facilitate the rise of Trump and Cruz," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told The New York Times.
"Whoever is not named Trump and not named Cruz that looks strong out of both Iowa and New Hampshire, we should consolidate around," another strategist, Henry Barbour, said. And while Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush seem to be locked in a battle for that support, others think a less problematic candidate would have the best chance of winning the election.
"In these horrible crossfires, with everybody shooting each other down, it would be good to nominate somebody uncontroversial, who could appeal to a broader electorate," said Earle I. Mack, a real estate developer and former ambassador to Finland under George W. Bush. He suggested Paul Ryan, the current speaker of the House.
But Ryan has so far shown no signs of wanting to run.
"If I really wanted to be president, I would have run in this cycle for the presidency. I had the chance and opportunity to do so and I chose not to do that. I'm perfectly happy and content with this decision," Ryan told CNN's Dana Bash in November. Jeva Lange