Scalise Dodges on Whether He’ll Seek Speakership: ‘We’re Getting Way Ahead of Ourselves’

• April 11, 2018 9:31 am


House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) wouldn't say Wednesday whether he would seek election as Speaker of the House if Paul Ryan announces he won't seek re-election, saying he didn't want to get into speculation.

Multiple reports emerged Wednesday that Ryan will announce to Congress he will not seek another term in November. Scalise appeared on "Fox and Friends" and was asked if he would be interested in the position if Ryan does indeed retire.

"We're getting way ahead of ourselves," Scalise said. "I've been real clear for a long time. I don't want to get into speculation. I want to stay focused on our job."

Scalise said Republicans need to make sure they keep the majority, saying speculation about seeking the Speakership was irrelevant if Nancy Pelosi got the gavel back.

"Good things are already happening, but there's more we want to do this year," he said.

Scalise wouldn't confirm the reports about Ryan's pending announcement he would not seek re-election, calling him a "good friend."

Fox host Brian Kilmeade asked Scalise if he worried about the message it sent to the party over whether Paul's prospective retirement showed there was pessimism about keeping the majority.

"Paul's done an incredible job, breaking [fundraising] records as Speaker," Scalise said. "Look, the people around the country that support Republicans for the House and Senate and ultimately for the White House, they know what's at stake. They know what Nancy Pelosi would do as Speaker."