In a move that came less than 48 hours after an FBI raid at Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer’s office, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his plan to not seek reelection in November. Ryan’s plans have been the source of much speculation, amid Republican concerns over keeping their majority in the House of Representatives.
“You realize something when you take this job,” Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning. “It’s a big job with a lot riding on you … but you also know this is not a job that does not last forever. … You realize you hold the office for just a small part of our history. So you better make the most of it.”
Brendan Buck, counselor to the speaker, says the “the speaker is proud of all that has been accomplished. He said Ryan is ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father.”
Ryan and his wife have three children.
Ryan was first elected to Congress in 1998. He was elected House speaker in 2015 after former House Speaker John Boehner retired. He was former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012.
Trump, who has been vocally opposed to Ryan’s work as House Speaker, shared his support of the news Wednesday morning.
“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!” Trump wrote.
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
In response to the news, NARAL National Communications Director Kaylie Hanson Long said, “People across America can now look forward to a time where Paul Ryan is not working every day to undermine our fundamental freedoms, including reproductive freedom. Ryan repeatedly tried – and failed – to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and each day he’s been in office, he’s shown that he does not stand with women and families. Instead of championing women and families, Ryan chose to champion Donald Trump’s backwards agenda. Trump’s legacy is Ryan’s legacy – that’s how history will remember him.”
Hanson Long added, “The people of Wisconsin are now one step closer to getting the representative they deserve in Randy Bryce, who, unlike Paul Ryan, will fight for the rights of all people and believes unapologetically that women’s rights are human rights. NARAL and our members are energized to fight as hard as they can to make sure Randy Bryce can take his pro-choice values to Congress.”
A statement released Wednesday morning from Bryce’s campaign said: “Paul Ryan decided to quit today rather than face Randy Bryce and the voters. With nearly $5 million raised to date, a strong field program aided by organized labor, a broad coalition of support locally and nationally, Randy Bryce is incredibly well positioned to be the next Representative for the First District. Electorates far more conservative than Wisconsin’s 1st have already elected Democrats in special elections in Wisconsin and across the country.”
Additional reactions are noted below.
Serving as speaker has been one of my life’s great honors. I’m proud of all we’ve done & am ready for new prioritie… https://t.co/9H2E8CLK0Q
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 11, 2018
Paul Ryan is retiring to spend more time with his children. It would be great if he gave them something to be proud of and stand up to the tyrant who is trying to destroy this country.
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) April 11, 2018
Why isnt Paul Ryan running for re-election???
. . . . Oh pic.twitter.com/12cRieKNvb
— Deon (@imnottayediggs) April 11, 2018
What was found in the Michael Cohen raid that would impel Paul Ryan, 48 hours later, to announce he will not run again? Recall Cohen was the deputy RNC finance chair…🤔
— Beth⭐️ (@PersuasivePR) April 11, 2018
Paul Ryan doing Trump yet another solid by interrupting the whole my-closest-associate-just-got-raided-by-the-FBI thing
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) April 11, 2018
“Let’s be clear. I mean the president today is calling him a truly good man. You’ll remember in the past he called him weak and ineffective.” @peteralexander talks Paul Ryan and Trump pic.twitter.com/41C6caLfd7
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 11, 2018
BREAKING: Speaker Paul Ryan will not seek reelection. Meet the democrat coming after his seat pic.twitter.com/jKE6FC7zJK
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 11, 2018
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 11, 2018
We outraised @SpeakerRyan in the first 3 months of 2018 by $1.75 million! Incredible!
And unlike Ryan, we aren’t taking corporate PAC money or cashing $500,000 checks from the Kochs.
Help beat Paul Ryan where it matters most – at the ballot box: https://t.co/tHrhXZkapN
— Randy Bryce (@IronStache) April 11, 2018