House Speaker Paul Ryan has begun telling close associates he will not seek re-election, according initial reporting from Axios, further calling into question the ability of Republicans to maintain control of the House in the upcoming midterm elections.
According to close friends familiar with the decision, Ryan reportedly said that he felt he had accomplished his “longtime dream” of comprehensive tax reform and was ready to step back due to “frustrating aspects” of the job, specifically working with President Trump.
Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. We are with you Paul!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
For his part, President Trump called Ryan “a truly good man” with “a legacy of achievement that nobody can question.”
Ryan, the Republican Party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2012, also reportedly still harbors presidential aspirations and may mount a campaign in the future.
The initial jockeying to replace Ryan began earlier this year when reports of his impending retirement or resignation from Congress first emerged.
Infowars’ own Roger Stone reported months ago on Ryan’s impending retirement, despite his repeated denials at the time.
InfoWars Roger Stone reported Speaker Ryan would not run on The Alex Jones show months ago and warned us to ignore Ryan’s denials that he would retire at that time
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) April 11, 2018
The two most likely candidates to succeed Ryan include House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).
“They’re closely monitoring the moves of the other and quietly courting Republicans who could help either of them clinch the top post,” according to a report from Politico, which interviewed 20 Republican lawmakers and aides.
Despite attempting to gauge support for his own campaign for House Speaker, Scalise told Politico he would not run should McCarthy mount a campaign. McCarthy fell short in his last bid for Speaker in 2015 when John Boehner resigned.
“Everyone is talking about this,” one veteran Republican House member said. “We’re sizing them up, seeing who would be a better fit. It’s the prism that we look at them through now.”
“This is a Titanic, tectonic shift. … This is going to make every Republican donor believe the House can’t be held,” said one Republican operative. Ryan’s retirement would help Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in his fundraising efforts because “the Senate becomes the last bastion,” according to the same Republican operative.
Republican prospects of maintaining control of the House were slim even prior to Speaker Ryan’s impending retirement. Many expect Ryan’s retirement will prompt more Republicans in districts rated as toss-ups or worse to retire as well.
Speaker Ryan’s retirement will be interpreted as practically conceding that the GOP will lose the House. Probably will stimulate more R retirements. https://t.co/QbP0SeKdqE
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) April 11, 2018