Ryan has been a key fundraiser for Republican candidates, and his decision to call it quits is nearly certain to be a demoralizing blow to the party's candidates and donors. "It might spur a few more", Dent said. Both had resigned themselves to trying to limit the damage.
Paul Ryan is many things, but he is not a completely clueless idiot.
"You realize you hold the office for a small part of our history... and I think we have achieved a heck of a lot", said Ryan. "It's fleeting, and that inspires you to do big things", he said.
Reports of Mr Ryan's departure have circulated for months. It sends a signal to conservatives that the real fight remains keeping control of the Senate. "After the 'Trump Era, ' there will be a thirsting for leaders like him again".
Since 1999, Paul Ryan has represented Wisconsin throughout the U.S. House of Representatives.
But it appears the 48-year old Ryan, who was effectively drafted to be speaker following the announcement that Republican John A. Boehner of OH would be stepping aside, will last a little less than three years in the job that he assumed October 29, 2015.
I said earlier that I didn't want this job at first.
Paul Ryan grew to develop into House Speaker in October 2015.
Ryan, who once ran for vice president on a ticket with Mitt Romney, had shared an uneasy relationship with Trump.
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At the same time, however, almost everyone acknowledges that Ryan is leaving several central stated policy goals unfulfilled.
Ryan, who said Wednesday he would not run for reelection, has plenty of time to consider a presidential run, especially if you measure in Sen. "I'm talking about his qualifications, not his money".
Matt Batzel, a Wisconsin-based national executive director of American Majority, an organization that trains grassroots conservative leaders, said there are "plenty of good options" for other GOP candidates in Ryan's district. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC that backs House GOP candidates and is closely aligned with Ryan, could be more important to watch.
For every gain that came with sticking by Trump, however, there were setbacks.
Ryan criticized Trump during the campaign but accommodated him during his presidency, drawing fire for not speaking out against Trump's attacks on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department and special counsel Robert S Mueller III.
President Donald Trump said Ryan was a "truly good man", adding that he will "leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question". They lost the election to then-President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Some former Speakers, such as Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, have stuck around after losing the majority to guide their parties in the wilderness.
Key figures including Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise declined to comment on whether they would seek to succeed Mr Ryan when quizzed by journalists. Janesville school board member Cathy Myers is also running in the Democratic primary. Ryan is respected for his policy initiatives and commitment to service, and thus it seems likely that he will return to this line of work.