Speaker Paul D. Ryan said — for what he probably feels is the thousandth time — that he is not interested in the 2016 GOP nomination for president.
He made what he hopes is his final announcement on the matter on Tuesday at the Republican National Committee.
“I do not want, nor will I accept the Republican nomination,” Ryan said, noting there was too much work to do in his current job.
While speculation has swirled in recent weeks that he’s secretly interested in the job, Roll Call has counted at least seven times Ryan has previously said N-O.
1. The first denial: “I’ve decided not to run for President in ‘16. My job as Chairman of Ways & Means Cmte deserves my undivided attention,” he tweeted in January 2015 , as many Republican hopefuls began gearing up for the 2016 race. Ryan, who had been Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012, was one of the first people to rule himself out of the race.
2. ‘No way’: In February, Ryan told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that he and his family had already made the decision together that he wouldn’t run. “No way, ain’t going to happen,” he said. “First of all, I think you should run for president if you’re going to be president.” He repeated: “I’m not running for president. I’m not going to be the president. It’s going to be somebody who is running for president.”
3. Not in Cleveland: “I am not going to become the president through Cleveland,” he told Politico in March, adding: “I’ve been really clear about this.”
4. He’s happy: In a CNBC interview with John Harwood, Ryan was asked if he was happy he had ruled himself out of the race. “I think that’s probably a totally, completely fair thing to say,” he said on March 17.
5. Also on March 17:
“It’s not me,” Ryan said at a news conference later that day. “Let’s just put this thing to rest and move on.”
“I saw Boehner last night and I told him to knock it off,” he said, addressing former Speaker John A. Boehner’s remarks that Ryan should assume the nomination if no one running gets enough delegates. “I used slightly different words. I used his own words that he used to use against us when he told us to knock things off.”
6. And on April 4: “But I do believe people put my name in this thing, and I say get my name out of that,” he told talk show host Hugh Hewitt while in Israel on his first foreign trip as speaker.
7. One more time for good measure: Ryan told the Israeli newspaper, the Times of Israel , also on April 4: “I think you should start in Iowa and run to the tape.”
Read His Lips: Paul Ryan is Not Running For President