Paul Ryan: 'Count Me Out' of 2016 Presidential Run

Apr 12, 2016 4:18 PM by NBC News

House Speaker Paul Ryan in a press conference Tuesday afternoon put to rest speculation about a 2016 run for president.

"Count me out," he said, "I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee — to be the president — you should actually run for it. I chose not to. Therefore, I should not be considered. Period."

Ryan said he wanted to put to rest once and for all speculation about running this year for president.

"Let me be clear: I do not want, nor will I accept the Republican nomination," he said.

The Wisconsin lawmaker has been suggested as a potential presidential contender if no current Republican candidate nets the 1237 delegates required to win the nomination. A contested GOP convention could impact party morale.

While Ryan ruled out becoming the party nominee and said it should be someone who ran for president this cycle, he encouraged rule clarification that would only allow someone who ran during the current cycle to be put forward.

Ryan has consistently said he will not seek the nomination. Last year, Ryan in a phone interview with NBC News said he would not seek the presidency in 2016.

"I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016," Ryan said last year, noting that he is "at peace" with the decision he made "weeks ago" to forgo a bid for the White House.

In an interview with the Times of Israel last week he again ruled out the prospects of a presidential run.

"I decided not to run for president," he said while in Israel. "I think you should run if you're going to be president. I think you should start in Iowa and run to the tape."

Ryan initially also said no to becoming speaker of the House and only agreed to take the position after certain stipulations were met. Since taking up the post he's worked to unify the GOP House caucus.

Ryan has also been deeply critical of the tenor of the current state of the race.

In a speech last month "on the state of American politics", Ryan decried the idea of winning elections by "dividing people."

The comments were seen as a thinly-veiled reference to Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump.


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