Amid pressure from a large swath of his own party to enter the race to replace John Boehner, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan announced Tuesday that he would conditionally accept the call to seek the House speakership.
Emboldened by the fact that he admittedly does not desire the prominent leadership position, Ryan included a few demands in the terms of his potential candidacy. First, he insisted that he will only run if he is sure doing so would unite the party.
“Our next speaker has to be a visionary one,” he said in an address Tuesday. “If I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve.”
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Specifically, he told the party that he will need the support of three caucuses – representing different wings of the GOP – before he announces his bid. California Rep. Darrell Issa clarified that the three House groups included the Tuesday Group, the Republican Study Committee and the House Freedom Caucus.
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Ryan has given fellow Republicans until Friday to meet his terms.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus could be Ryan’s toughest sell, as he has faced criticism from the right for his position on issues including immigration.
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He also made it clear that he does not envision spending as much time away from home as previous speakers, explaining the job will not come before his family. While he admitted that would mean “less time on the road,” Ryan said that he would compensate “with a greater focus on communicating our message to the public.”
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