Senior Republicans are trying to draft Paul Ryan for the job that John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy don't want. Ryan has repeatedly said that he doesn't want to be House speaker, either—he announced, "I will not be a candidate" within minutes of McCarthy's bombshell announcement yesterday, reports the Washington Post—but he's coming under a lot of pressure from fellow Republicans who see him as the only man left for the job, Politico reports. The House Ways and Means Committee chairman may be starting to crack: Toward the end of Thursday, he went from total denial to telling reporters that he had no comment, reports the Post, which notes that the one-on-one pleas included two calls from Boehner.
Another call came from Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. "I have spent more time trying to talk him into running than I did my wife into marrying me," Gowdy tells the New York Times. "Twenty-six years later, she's still with me. I am just asking Paul for 14 months." But Ryan, who was Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012, has a long-term plan that does not involve moving up in the House, insiders tell the Post, and taking the speaker job now could end up killing off those ambitions. According to the Post, the last person to retire from the role in "good standing" was Tip O'Neill in 1986. (McCarthy says he bailed because he couldn't get the full support of the House and was warned that they "will eat you and chew you up.")