Washington: U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday ruled himself out of the 2016 presidential race saying that he would not accept any attempt to draft him as a Republican presidential candidate.
Speculations were rife that Ryan may emerge as a unity choice if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz falter.
"Let me be clear: I do not want nor will I accept the nomination of our party," Ryan said in remarks at the Republican National Committee's Washington headquarters.
Ryan is the top elected Republican in Washington and was the party's vice presidential candidate in 2012. Ryan has repeatedly expressed his disinterest in the race for the top post. Political analysts, however, maintain that he was also not interested in becoming House speaker until he was finally persuaded to take over from John Boehner last year.
Ryan will preside over the Cleveland convention and he said on Tuesday that his goal is to ensure there is integrity in the process. Ryan said the 2016 nominee should be someone who has actually run this year, adding that the delegates must pass a rule limiting the nomination only to actual candidates. "I should not be considered. Period. End of story," he said.
Offering his views on the state of the race, Ryan complained that "insults get more ink than ideas". "I believe that we can once again be an optimistic party that is defined by our belief in the limitless possibility of our people," he said.
Republicans who are unwilling to accept either Trump or Cruz as the party's nominee for the presidential poll were hopeful that Ryan would enter the race in the future. For that to happen, no candidate would have won the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention. The delegates will also need to approve a consensus alternative on a second or subsequent ballot.