Rumors have been swirling for months that House Speaker Paul Ryan was considering retirement from the U.S. Congress. According to Axios, he’s started informing confidants he won’t be running for re-election:
- This decision has been long rumored but his final deliberations were held extremely closely.
- Ryan, 48, was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012, and has long harbored presidential ambitions. Friends say he could make another run in the future.
- Friends say that after Ryan passed tax reform, his longtime dream, he was ready to step out of a job that has become endlessly frustrating, in part because of President Trump.
- Friends say Ryan was contemplating a minority or slim majority and decided that there was no good time to leave — it was time for at least a stint in private life.
Run again in the future? You don’t get to stand behind Donald Trump, make a tax grab for your wealthiest contributors, run from the wreck you helped create and then come back to run for president in the future.
As for who’s next? That will likely be Kevin McCarthy or Steve Scalise. McCarthy’s been earning Trump’s trust and circling the White House for months. From Politico in February:
McCarthy speaks with Trump several times a week by phone. And Trump dotes on McCarthy, too, even referring to the No. 2 House Republican as “my Kevin.”
“They have a good relationship: Trump trusts Kevin,” said Rep. Richard Hudson, a North Carolina Republican who’s close to McCarthy. “Kevin reached out early on to have a dialogue … and they just developed a trust over time.”
Good luck, McCarthy. It’s only a matter of time before Trump turns on you too.