Some conservatives in the Republican party are sharpening their knives to keep Representative Paul Ryan from succeeding House Speaker John Boehner, even as they say publicly the election of the next speaker will center on reforms in the U.S. House of Representatives instead of the candidates.
"The focus is on, in my opinion, not who is speaker, but the process changes we can put in place," said Representative Barry Loudermilk, a member of the Freedom Caucus made up of the most conservative Republicans in the House.
At least one caucus member has outlined requirements a candidate must meet in order to win an endorsement in the speaker's race, and it is not clear if Ryan can pass the test. In recent days a quiet campaign has started against Wisconsin's Ryan, the former vice-presidential candidate considered the only House member able to gather enough votes to win the election.\
For his part, Ryan has repeatedly said he will not enter the race.
A video is circulating around Congress of the floor speech that Ryan gave supporting creation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the emergency scheme that used public funds to shore up banks during the 2008 financial crisis and that is a bugaboo for many conservatives.