US House Speaker Paul Ryan has formally ruled out his run for the post of president, in a bid to end speculation that he might be chosen by a possible contested Republican convention as the party’s 2016 nominee for the White House.
“Let me be clear, I do not want, nor will I accept the nomination for our party,” he said in a statement at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, reiterating that he believes the Republican nominee for president should only be chosen from among those candidates already running, Xinhua news agency reported.
“I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee for our party — to be president — you should actually run for it. I chose not to do this. Therefore, I should not be considered,” he told Republican delegates.
“Count me out,” said the top Republican in Congress, dashing hopes of many Republicans who are in despair over the party’s top two presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Both GOP candidates are feared to lose in the general election, bringing the party into widening divisions.
Anti-Trump Republicans have suggested that if the party’s front-runner Trump falls short of the necessary 1,237 delegates, he might be stopped at the first ballot at the nominating convention in July, giving delegates a chance to choose a consensus alternative.
Speculation has run high recently as Ryan delivered a high-profile speech later last month, calling for the unity of the Republican Party via decent political dialogue in the primary race.