Paul Ryan Says He'll Run for Speaker, but Only on His Terms – NBCNews.com
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said Tuesday night that he would run for House speaker — but only if his Republican colleagues meet several conditions.
In the weeks since Speaker John Boehner of Ohio announced his retirement last month, Ryan — the Republicans’ vice presidential nominee in 2012 — hadn’t definitely said whether he wanted the job of herding the notoriously fractious Republican caucus, despite urging from colleagues across the political spectrum.
That ended Tuesday night at a meeting of the House Republican Conference, where Ryan told fellow Republicans that he would run if the caucus unifies around a positive message of big ideas.
“We need to move from an opposition party to a proposition party,” Ryan told reporters. “If I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve.”
Ryan said it’s easy to blame President Barack Obama and the media — and “that is kind of fun sometimes,” he acknowledged. But the American people want results, not debating victories, he said.
“If my colleagues entrust me with being the speaker, then I want us to be the solution,” he said.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, walks to a meeting Tuesday with House Republicans in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee / Getty Images
Ryan said he was happy as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and that he came to his decision to run for speaker “only reluctantly.”
But “my greatest worry is the consequence of not stepping up,” he said.
“I came to the conclusion that this is a very dire moment not just for Congress, not just for the Republican Party, but for our country,” he said. “I think our country is in desperate need for leadership.”
Is Paul Ryan Really Willing to Take on the Hardest Job in Washington?
Brendan Buck, Ryan’s spokesman, said that in the meeting with his colleagues, Ryan also insisted that House rules must be changed to make it harder for dissident members to try to oust the speaker.
“No matter who is speaker, they cannot be successful with this weapon pointed at them all the time,” Buck said.
Ryan gave the conference a deadline of Friday to accept the conditions, but even if Republicans meet his demands, he still wouldn’t have an unimpeded path to the speaker’s chair. Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida, who has been endorsed by the conservative Freedom Caucus, said Tuesday night that he’s staying in …Read More
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