Ryan pushes back on calls he resign before election

Ryan pushes back on calls he resign before election
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump walks back criticism of UK Brexit strategy | McConnell worries US in 'early stages' of trade war | US trade deficit with China hits new record MORE (R-Wis.) is pushing back on pressure from some in his party that he step down from his leadership position before the election to help unify the party.

Ryan told Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that he can continue to be effective despite announcing that he would retire at year’s end.

“We’ve all discussed this and we think the smart thing to do is to actually stay an intact leadership team,” Ryan said in an interview that aired Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

“There’s so much more I can do to keep continuity. We have a great leadership team. There’s so much more I can do to help keep this majority," he added.

Some Republican lawmakers argue the prospect of a leadership race could divide their party heading into the midterm elections. They also worry that Ryan’s lame-duck status might render him less effective as a fundraiser.

Ryan has tried to settle some of the questions about the succession by endorsing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Elon Musk donated nearly K to Republican PAC, filings show Eric Holder: Calls to abolish ICE are 'a gift to Republicans' MORE (R-Calif.) as his successor.

“I think Kevin is the right guy to step up,” he told NBC. “One of the reasons why I was comfortable making this decision is because we have a very capable leadership team.”

Some Republicans, however, think he may not be able to stay in the post past August because of a desire to establish the future of the House GOP leadership with certainty before the fall campaigns.

Ryan touted his ability as a fundraiser when asked last week about staying on in the job through the election.

“There is nobody who's comes close to being able to raise the kind of funds I have and still can raise for this majority,” Ryan told reporters last week. “It makes no sense to take the biggest fundraiser off the field.”