Paul Ryan speaks out on rumors he's running for president

Updated
Paul Ryan Has an Alleged 'Secret Meeting' With 'GOP Money Men'
Paul Ryan Has an Alleged 'Secret Meeting' With 'GOP Money Men'

House Speaker Paul Ryan finally put rumors to rest "once and for all" on Tuesday that he might quietly be considering running for president or accepting his party's nomination.

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"Let me be clear, I do not want nor will I accept the nomination of my party," Ryan said in a statement to reporters on Tuesday, definitively dispelling any ideas that he would consider a run for the White House in 2016.

"I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee of our party, to be the president, you should actually run for it," Ryan continued in his statement. "I chose not to do this. Therefore I should not be considered. Period, end of story."

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However, Ryan did suggest that GOP delegates could consider nominating a candidate other than the three Republicans currently left in the 2016 race.

"You should only choose from a person who has participated in the primary," Ryan cautioned.

Ryan, who ran alongside Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for vice president in 2012, has denied any interest in running for president this year. Outsiders have noted though that he has stopped short of saying he wouldn't accept a nomination if urged in a brokered convention.

Sen. Ted Cruz and GOP front-runner Donald Trump remain locked in a battle to see who can secure the required number of delegates to become the nominee. Based on the current count and upcoming races, many political insiders have begun musing that a brokered convention is increasingly likely, which would pit Cruz and Trump against each other in a fight to see who can formally secure the required number of delegates to become the nominee.

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Ryan is seen by many as a more reliable candidate than either Cruz or Trump. When news of a "secret donor meeting" emerged on Monday, rumors of his possible candidacy were sparked once again.

Polling has even been conducted on a possible Ryan candidacy, but a survey from Rasmussen released last week found Ryan wouldn't necessarily help the party beat the Democrats in the race.

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Among self-described likely U.S. voters, Ryan would lose to Clinton by 6 points and to Sanders by 7 points, the poll found. Additionally, the choice to thwart the will of the GOP primary voters could cause even bigger trouble.

A closer look at the numbers, however, suggests the danger to Republicans of a brokered convention that denies Donald Trump or Ted Cruz the nomination. Ryan earns GOP support only in the high 50s against both Democrats. If Ryan is the GOP's choice to run against Clinton, 28% of Republicans opt for someone else. If Sanders is Ryan's opponent, 24% of GOP voters like another candidate.

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Originally published