After House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suddenly dropped out of the race for Speaker, members of the Republican establishment urged Rep. Paul Ryan to reconsider running for the role.
But Ryan quickly dashed their hopes, releasing a statement in which he refused to run for the position.
“While I am grateful for the encouragement I’ve received, I will not be a candidate,” he said is a statement released shortly after the McCarthy news sent ripples of shock though Capitol Hill.
Ryan has repeatedly turned down opportunities to run for leadership slots in the House, frustrating long-time fans who believe he is the key to House Republican unity.
Instead, Ryan backed McCarthy, even penning an op-ed praising his leadership.
“Kevin’s record in Congress demonstrates a rare combination of principle, leadership, and effectiveness. I have no doubt that his experience and skills make him the best choice for Speaker,” Ryan wrote.
This morning, Politico reported that Ryan would give the nomination speech for McCarthy, a leak intended to boost his fading candidacy. But it appears that Ryan didn’t even get a chance to speak, and his support wasn’t enough to convince conservatives to fall in line.
Once a rebel conservative himself, Ryan is increasingly viewed with skepticism by conservative Republicans for his willingness to back Republican leadership.
He also backed trade authority for President Obama to negotiate his Pacific Trade deal, which upset House conservatives who opposed it and was a vocal backer of immigration reform.
After running with Mitt Romney on his presidential ticket in 2012, Ryan willingly turned down any suggestion that he should run for president himself and has stayed away from any leadership races.