Politics

Ryan: I Do Not Want Nor Will I Accept the Republican Presidential Nomination

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) put rumors to rest on Tuesday that he would let his name be considered in a potential contested Republican presidential convention, saying he would not seek nor accept the 2016 nomination.

"Let me be clear. I do not want, nor will I accept, the nomination for our party," Ryan said.

Ryan, speaking to the party's delegates, said that if someone wants to be the nominee of the party, one should "actually run for it."

"I chose not to do this. Therefore, I should not be considered, period, end of story," Ryan said. "I just think it would be wrong to go any other way."

While businessman Donald Trump leads the race, the combined totals of Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in addition to the delegates won by Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) before he suspended his campaign, could deny Trump the requisite 1,237 delegates to clinch the Republican nomination before the convention.

Ryan said he intended to remain an active party participant.

"Not running does not mean I'm going to disappear," Ryan said. "When I accepted this speakership, I did so on the condition that I would do things differently than they had been done in the past. For one, I made it clear that this would be a policy- and communications-focused speakership. Secondly, I made clear last year in 2015, before the primaries even started, that we would be putting together a policy agenda and offer a clear choice to the American people.

"That's what I told my colleagues I would do, and that is exactly what I have been doing."

When one reporter pointed out Ryan also initially said he did not want to become Speaker of the House after the retirement of John Boehner, Ryan said this situation was completely different.

"Those are apples and oranges," he said. "Being Speaker of the House is a far cry from being President of the United States, specifically because I was already in the House. I'm already a congressman, so I was asked by my colleagues to take a responsibility within Congress … That is entirely different than getting the nomination for President of the United States by your party without even running for the job, so completely non-sequitur comparison in my book."