Rep. Paul Ryan has repeatedly indicated he is not running for speaker of the House, even as heavy hitters — including retiring Speaker John Boehner — urge him to reconsider.
But Thursday night, it looked like Ryan may be changing his tune.
Speaking to a gaggle of reporters for three-and-a-half minutes, Ryan repeatedly refused to rule out a run, repeating over and over: “I’ve got no news for you.”
He repeated that sentiment Friday morning with reporter staking out his office, saying: “I’ve got nothing to add, nothing to say.”
The reason for the questions: Ryan’s repeated previous denials haven’t dissuaded anyone from asking him about the top job.
As the shock of Kevin McCarthy’s decision not to seek the top job wore off Thursday afternoon, eyes turned to Ryan, the former vice presidential nominee and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Influential and well-respected throughout the GOP caucus, Ryan could be a peacemaker between the warring factions.
News that Ryan cleared his schedule and canceled fundraisers only added to the chatter he could change his mind. A source close to Ryan told CNN he is still a hard no on running, and simply didn’t want to raise money at this “frantic time.”
Along with Boehner, Deputy Majority Whip Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, are also personally encouraging Ryan to change his mind. Both said Ryan is the clear choice to unite the party — and Cole said Boehner is well aware of that. Both are moderate Republicans in the inner circle of current leadership, including Boehner.
SOURCE: Dana Bash, Tal Kopan, Deirdre Walsh and Manu Raju