Chaffetz: I'd step aside for Ryan
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzFormer chairman appears at House Oversight contempt debate Republicans spend more than million at Trump properties House Dems seek to make officials feel the pain MORE (R-Utah) on Friday said he would drop out of the race for Speaker if Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBooker prepping for first 2020 debate with bicep curls Democratic debates: What the top candidates need to do Paul Ryan praises Trump: 'He's not taking any crap' MORE (R-Wis.) decided to run.

House Republicans are pressuring Ryan, the 2012 vice presidential nominee, to run for Speakership after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) abruptly dropped out on Thursday, leaving the party without a clear successor to John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa MORE (R-Ohio).


Many feel that Ryan is the only person who can unite the divided House GOP conference.

Chaffetz, who launched his Speaker bid last weekend, said he'd end his bid if Ryan heeds the call to enter the race.

"I'm a huge fan of Paul Ryan. I would support Paul Ryan," Chaffetz told reporters.

"Part of the reason I got into the race was because people like Paul Ryan weren't stepping up to do it," added Chaffetz, the House Oversight Committee chairman.

Lawmakers say Ryan is mulling over his options. He has previously said he wants to focus on his work as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Ryan might also want to run for president someday. Serving as the highest-ranking official in Congress, even for a short time, could make that more difficult.

But Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), the other declared candidate for Speaker, gave no indication Friday of whether he would drop out if Ryan entered the race.

“I’m going to run in this conference that we have until we get to that date,” Webster said.

Webster has the backing of the 30-to-40 member House Freedom Caucus. Members of that group maintained Friday they still plan to back Webster.

“Webster’s our candidate,” said Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashAmash splits with Republicans, votes to authorize subpoena for Kellyanne Conway The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate House panel votes to subpoena Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act testimony MORE (R-Mich.), a Freedom Caucus co-founder.

— This story was updated at 11:36 a.m.