Ryan to seek speakership if House GOP unifies behind him

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan told GOP lawmakers late Tuesday that he will address through the speaker, but only if they embrace him by week’s end as their agreement candidate — an ambitious offer to compel harmony on a disordered and divided House.

Dragged unwillingly into seeking a job he in no never wanted, Ryan spoke to his colleagues at the back of closed doors, telling them he will run only with the support of the primary caucuses in the House. That includes the hardline Freedom Caucus that chased out the current speaker and his No. 2, and will now have veto power over Ryan.

“I came to the conclusion that this is a very dire moment, not just for Congress, not just for the Republican Party, but for our country. And I think our country is in desperate need of leadership,”

Ryan told a press conference afterward.

“What I told members is if you can agree to these requests and if I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve, and if I am not unifying, that is fine as well — I will be happy to stay where I am.”

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