Paul Ryan: ‘No plans to run for anything’
House Speaker Paul Ryan said he has no plans to run for another office, including president, in an interview Wednesday afternoon with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”
“No plans to run for anything,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “And I really don’t think I’ll change my mind.”
Ryan spoke to CNN just hours after he announced his retirement from Congress at the end of this term, saying he will relinquish the speaker’s gavel in January and that he is stepping down to spend more time with his teenage children.
Asked if he would seek another public office, Ryan shook his head and said, “Not while my kids are growing up.”
“I really don’t see it,” he said. “I really thought when I took this job, Jake, that this is probably the last elected office I would have. I’m not going to run for president. You know, that’s not my plan. I’m not going to do that. I really want to spend time doing the things that I’ve just discussed doing. I’m always going to advocate for the causes I have, but right now, the last thing I’m thinking about is running for something.”
Ryan sought to downplay past public tension with President Donald Trump, saying they have “different styles” and that there was “a lot of friction” in the relationship before the two got to know each other but they had grown to learn they have common goals.
“What we learned is we have a common agenda that we agree on,” Ryan said.
Ryan, in a May 2016 CNN interview, declined to endorse his party’s presumptive nominee, and Trump returned the snub later in the year.
In Wednesday’s interview, Ryan pushed back against criticism that he has forged a “devil’s bargain” with Trump in order to advance his conservative agenda.
“I don’t see getting things done for the country — keeping your promises, making a difference — a devil’s bargain,” Ryan said. “We have three separate, co-equal branches of government. We have many different kinds of Republicans. The secret to success, from what I see, is getting all these different kinds of Republicans to form a coalition government that can actually deliver.”
He continued to credit Trump’s win for the GOP’s accomplishments in Washington.
“I’m grateful for the President to win the election to give us this chance and opportunity to make a big difference in people’s lives,” he said.
Ryan also denied his retirement was a sign that Republicans will lose control of the House in next fall’s elections and repeatedly stressed his belief that tax and regulatory revisions, along with a boost to defense spending, would help the GOP campaign.
“I’m confident we can keep this majority,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons why I was comfortable making this decision, actually.”