Speaker Paul D. Ryan keeps saying he won’t run for president, but he has this habit of showing up in the middle of things, like being counterprogramming for the news networks’ coverage of a huuuge presidential primary night .
On Tuesday night, as New York’s returns showed victories for two unpopular front-runners — Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton — there was Ryan on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
“I have said I do not want, nor would I accept, the Republican nomination,” Ryan replied to the “Who’s on First”-like interplay between the two.
“Got it,” Colbert said. “So — you’re considering the nomination?”
It went on like this for a while.
Ryan: “No, it’s a no.”
Colbert: “Like a ‘no no’? Or a ‘No, I don’t want to be speaker of the House, but I’ll accept it if you give it to me’ no?
Ryan: “It’s a no no.”
The Wisconsin Republican wasn’t in New York for the taping of the show. He was in Washington, D.C., while Colbert remained in New York to run the rest of his show, which featured Kevin Spacey, Thomas Middleditch and musical guests The Flaming Lips.
(As a side note, Spacey’s appearance had a political connection as well. He plays President Richard Nixon in the soon-to-be-released film “Elvis & Nixon.”)
Meantime, while Ryan is running out of ways to say he’s not running — commandeering the Republican National Committee headquarters last week for a news conference in which he vowed he wasn’t running — nothing can seem to stop the chatter.
Especially when he banters with a popular late-night host on election night.