Paul Ryan has a big obstacle standing the way of becoming House Speaker: Math.
As a condition of him accepting the position of House Speaker, Ryan laid out a list of demands. Chief among them is that the Republican caucus gives up their ability to call a “Motion To Vacate The Chair,” which is basically a method of deposing a sitting speaker.
Another key demand from Ryan is that he secure the endorsement of all the major caucuses within the House GOP.
That won’t be an issue for Ryan with one big exception, the Freedom Caucus. The Freedom Caucus is comprised of about 40 hard-line members who want the House Republicans to be much more aggressive. They are the also the group who forced out Speaker John Boehner by threatening a Motion To Vacate The Chair.
According to Freedom Caucus rules, you need the support of four-fifths of the caucus to secure their endorsement. That means anyone who is opposed by more than 8 members will not be able to be endorsed by the group.
Already 9 Freedom Caucus members have publicly expressed their opposition to Ryan or his key demand, which is enough to sink his candidacy.
Ryan could either change his demands or any of these Representatives could change their position. But as it stands now, things are not looking up for Paul Ryan.
1. Rep. Justin Amash
Leader of Freedom Caucus, Justin Amash, tells me: "I don't think a speaker candidate should set preconditions."
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 21, 2015
2. Rep. Raul Labrador
Raul Labrador just called one of Paul Ryan's conditions — eliminating the motion to vacate the chair — "a non-starter."
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) October 21, 2015
3. Rep. Walter Jones
Rep. Jones on Paul Ryan: This is not what we need. We need someone that can represent the American people and not special interests.
— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) October 21, 2015
4. Rep. Dan Webster
Webster leaving Capitol on how leadership handled tonight: "What we saw was power at work [for Ryan]. Is anyone surprised?"
— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 21, 2015
Webster is actually running against Ryan and currently holds the endorsement of the Freedom Caucus.
5. Rep. Tim Huelskamp
Rep Huelskamp on Ryan: He’s set up..unacceptable conditions. He knows they’re unreasonable..He can drop out and say ‘At least I tried.’
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 21, 2015
6. Rep. Mo Brooks
GOP Rep Mo Brooks, member of Freedom Caucus said concern already about Ryan's "amnesty and open borders immigration position"
— Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn) October 21, 2015
7. Rep. John Flemming
Freedom Caucus Rep John Fleming R-LA: "Many of us have the sense that Paul Ryan really doesn't want the job"
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) October 21, 2015
8. Rep. Mick Mulvaney
Rep. Mulvaney on changing motion to vacate chair: "I like Paul Ryan a lot. I like Thomas Jefferson better."
— Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) October 21, 2015
9. Rep. Matt Salmon
“It’s like interviewing a maid for a job and she says, ‘I don’t clean windows, I don’t do floors, I don’t do beds, these are the hours I’ll work.’ It’s rubbing a lot of people the wrong way,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus, told The Hill.[The Hill, 10/21/15]
This post has been updated with additional expressions of opposition to Ryan from Reps. Mulvaney and Salmon. It has also been updated to remove Reps. David Jolly and Tom Massie, who do not officially identify as Freedom Caucus members. There is no official list.
The Freedom Caucus voted and fell short of the 80 percent threshold of support to endorse Paul Ryan.
Raul Labrador says about 2/3 of Freedom Caucus backing Paul Ryan, short of 80% needed for formal endorsement, per @costareports.— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) October 21, 2015
Paul Ryan will have to decide if that's enough for him.