I’d go with Rand Paul and Ted Cruz over Paul Ryan. The American Conservative brings you into focus on the three.
Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz are both popular speakers on the conservative dinner circuit. They have both taken their shows on the road to such familiar destinations as New Hampshire and Iowa. They could both be on the presidential ballot in those states in early 2016. Both have deep roots in the conservative movement.
The similarities end there. At the relatively young age of 43, Ryan has been in Congress for 14 years. Cruz, almost a year younger, arrived in Washington as a senator in January. Ryan is loyal to House Speaker John Boehner, although he is probably the Republican who could most easily replace him, and backed George W. Bush’s costly experiments in “compassionate conservatism,” despite his reputation as a budget hawk.
Cruz vexes the Republican leadership in both houses of Congress. His defund Obamacare strategy has upended both Boehner and Senate Minority Mitch McConnell’s carefully laid plans. Some Republicans voted with Cruz on defunding almost as much to spite him—let’s see what he can really accomplish in Harry Reid’s Senate—as to express solidarity with him.
Ryan is broadly well-liked by his GOP colleagues, even among moderates who worry his proposed entitlement reforms go too far and Tea Partiers who don’t think he goes far enough. Cruz elicits complaints and eye rolls even from Hill Republicans who substantially agree with him, though only occasionally on the record, as his stock rises with the conservative base […]