Paul Ryan will bow to the growing Republican calls that he run for House speaker—but only on one big condition.
The 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee on Tuesday night told House Republicans in a private meeting that he would agree to serve only if he has near-unanimous support from the party. It’s an important condition given the rebellious nature of the GOP conference, in which a few dozen of its most conservative members have demanded significant concessions in exchange for their support.
“I’ll leave it up to my colleagues to decide if I am that unifying person,” Ryan told reporters after the meeting.
Ryan, 45, has previously insisted he had little interest in serving as speaker and that he preferred to stay in his current job atop the House Ways and Means Committee. But after the resignation of John Boehner and the sudden withdrawal of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers from across the country have virtually begged him to change his mind. Boehner was among them, and he made his case for Ryan’s leadership in an appearance on Fox News just before the party meeting in the Capitol. He even drew support from Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who reasoned that a Republican with Ryan’s clout and willingness to deal would be the best they could hope for in the speaker’s chair.