Former House Speaker John Boehner says he would back successor Rep. Paul Ryan to be Republicans' presidential nominee if the party cannot settle on one from the remaining field of three during its July convention, Fox News confirmed Wednesday.
Boehner, who resigned in September 2015, voted Tuesday in the Ohio GOP primary for Gov. John Kasich and backs him for president right now.
But Boehner, a former Ohio congressman, said at a Futures Industry Association conference in Florida: “If we don't have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I'm for none of the above. So I'm for none of the above. I'm for Paul Ryan to be our nominee," as reported first by Politico.
Ryan, the Wisconsin lawmaker who succeeded Boehner, was the party’s 2012 vice presidential candidate. And he is frequently mentioned as the GOP establishment’s last, best-possible hope toward keeping outsider candidate Donald Trump from securing the party nomination.
The other remaining candidate in the GOP race is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Boehner spokesman Dave Schnittger says the former speaker’s comments were “off the cuff comments” and “about a hypothetical scenario in which none of the current candidates are able to secure the nomination at the convention.”
Ryan has said repeatedly he wouldn't seek the presidency and reiterated that Wednesday on CNBC.
Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.