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Speaker Paul Ryan Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired April 11, 2018 - 10:00   ET



PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We've talked about this. The expectation was that Speaker Paul Ryan was likely not going to be around the next Congress. The surprise was that he decided to make this announcement now. And here's why as it's been explained to me by sources who are aware of the call he made to his leadership team this morning. And also, the behind closed door GOP meeting that he just held and made this announcement in. Primarily it was family.

Now, the speaker has always made clear. His three children, his wife aren't exactly thrilled about the schedule he maintains as the speaker of the house. He is not either -- it's not just what he does on Capitol Hill, but it's also the fund-raising requirements, all of the dealing with the logistical and the procedural and that had started to weigh on a young family. But I think on top of that as well. The speaker had come to the conclusion that if he wasn't going to be around in the next Congress there was no sense in running for re- election only to retire.

I am told that he said that would be unfair to his district. That would be unfair to his constituents as well. And it would be unfair to the Republican conference which now has a lot of decisions to make in a pretty short time period in the face of major headwinds during those midterm elections. So, that is the message the speaker has conveyed. There will be a lot of talk over the course of the next couple of days of his legacy and what he brought to the table completing that 2017 tax overhaul that he think he could probably note he came to Congress electing to do, not just as a lawmaker, but also as a Congressional aide. I think for the moment, it was made clear to multiple people throughout this morning. That this was primarily a family decision, but also a decision that if he was going to leave Congress best to do it now and give people the opportunity to plan, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It makes things complicated, though, Manu Raju, and you are getting reaction from some members up there about what this might mean.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. There was a lot of surprise in this room. Members were not expecting this announcement to be made, but Ryan made one thing clear. He's going to be speaker through the end of this Congress. That means that there will not be a leadership race publicly to succeed him until after the end of this year. Now, John, a number of Republicans coming assessing the political implication. This is going to be a very difficult midterm environment particularly with all of the liabilities from the president right now with slumping approval ratings particularly the swing districts. Now one outgoing Congressman, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, I had a chance to talk to him about the political impact here. This is what he said about the wariness of President Trump and the impact that he is having down ticket.


REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: I think there's a lot of wariness and a lot of exhaustion, frankly. This is going to be a challenging year. And I've said this many times that the litmus test for being Republican these days is not about any set of ideals and principles. It's about loyalty to the man. And I think that's challenging. And so, if you're a member of Congress right now, particularly in the swing or marginal district and you go out there and you put some distance between yourself and the president, guess what? The president will say you're betraying him. If you put some distance with the president, you know, those in the resistance movement will say you're still a sycophant and it's never enough. So, you're really in a no-win position.


RAJU: And that's really the feeling of a number of Republicans who are in this midterm election environment. That not how the speaker presented this to his conference team, really did presented this as a family decision. He said this is not what he wants to be more than just a Sunday dad. Someone who could go home and see his family on more of a regular basis than he is right now, but clearly, the political impact that this party, this conference is feeling right now, very significant, very difficult prospect right now for keeping the House as one reason why. Perhaps the people may have seen the writing on the wall if they do lose the House the fight for a minority leader is much different than being speaker in this conference. There are a lot of questions about his future going forward. Paul Ryan clearly doesn't want to be a part of that conversation if they do lose the House come November, John.

BERMAN: All right. Manu, Phil, stand by for a moment. We just got a statement from the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. She says, "The speaker has been an advocate for his point of view and for the people of his district. Despite our differences, I commend his steadfast commitment to the country. During these final months, Democrats are hopeful that he joins us to work constructively to advance better futures for all Americans. My colleagues and I wish Paul the best in the next chapter of his career."

In fact, we have seen Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan in bitter political battles. But we also have seen them work together and come together at times, too, specifically, remember, after the Republican baseball team and the shots fired at Steve Scalise injured. Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi did work together quite well there. I am joined now by Dana Bash, CNN chief political correspondent. Dana, you know, there's every reason to believe the family is playing a big part in Paul Ryan's decision. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine the exhaustion that Charlie Dent mentioned with having to deal with the chaos in the White House is not a major factor. It's also hard to imagine the fact that the electoral possibilities for the Republicans are so challenging right now. If you were guaranteed to be House Speaker next January it is hard to see him leaving.

[10:05:05] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Probably, but I am actually not so sure even if there were -- there was no chance or at least a little chance that the Democrats would take over that Paul Ryan still wouldn't consider leaving. Remember, he didn't want this job in the first place, John. I just actually went back and looked up an interview that I did with former House Speaker John Boehner on his last day, and he was telling me the way he had to convince Paul Ryan to be the speaker, and he literally -- he said he used every ounce of Catholic guilt he could. Boehner said that he told Ryan that God told Boehner that Ryan has to do it.

I mean, that's the kind of pressure that Ryan needed in order to say, fine. I will take on the role of House Speaker. He just didn't want it because as you've been talking about with our colleagues this morning, he is a policy wonk. He had a job that he loved that fills that desire which was the House Ways and Means chair. He was in charge of the Tax Writing Committee. So there's that.

The other thing that you mentioned but I think it bears underscoring, Paul Ryan was one of the last, if not the last major Republican to reluctantly get onboard with Donald Trump. He never campaigned with Trump when he was -- when Trump was running and Wisconsin was a key state. Wisconsin ended up being a pivotal state that helped elect Donald Trump and put him in the White House. Wisconsin, of course, being Paul Ryan's home state and it wasn't until after that that Ryan again, reluctantly got onboard.

So, both of those factors and going back to the idea that Ryan never wanted to be speaker, part of the reason for that was because also his family. You know, it really is as I like to call it, F4 on the computer for a politician when they're leaving that they say -


BASH: Yes?

BERMAN: Dana, stand by for one moment. I want to go to Capitol Hill right now. There is Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus Mark Meadows speaking.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What the president might do? How is the GOP conference here on that issue? Should he fire -


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- how would the conference react?

MEADOWS: Well, I can tell you the president is not talking about firing Mueller. I mean, I've had conversations with the president. He is not talking about it so any suggestion otherwise is not based on -

RAJU: Have you talked to him recently?

MEADOWS: I talked to him this morning.

RAJU: Have you talked to him recently about firing -

MEADOWS: I don't want to comment on my conversations with the president, but do I talk to the president on a regular basis, and I can tell you that he is not talking about firing Bob Mueller. I mean, now is he very frustrated with the process and the fact that this continues to go on and that there's no evidence of collusion? Certainly, but there is no discussions, not last week, not the week before that and not even yesterday about firing Bob Mueller.

RAJU: What about Rod Rosenstein?

MEADOWS: You know, really, at this particular point, I think that it's members of Congress who have a bigger problem with Rod Rosenstein, myself included, that he's not giving us the documents and he's not doing his job and if he's not going to do the job he needs to go and find one that he will do. And so, the frustration with the AG and the deputy AG is probably more a focus of Congress, and it probably makes the president's dissatisfaction pale.

RAJU: Did you hold them in contempt, Rosenstein?

MEADOWS: I think at this particular point, they have not complied with a subpoena. They should be held in contempt and if they can't get it right -- you know, here we are -- it's interesting, here we are today and I am met with the new person that they have at DOJ. They can't tell us how many documents they're going to deliver, when they're going to deliver, how they'll redact. Those are three questions that they've had five months to answer and they can't answer it. It's appalling.

RAJU: Nunes last night to just even impeaching Christopher Wray, is that something that's - you think it's a good idea?

MEADOWS: That's in the tool box and at this particular point, hopefully they will comply long before we have to go that route, but it's in the tool box that we have there. Certainly contempt of Congress is the first step.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can I ask you, Scott Pruitt, do you think he should resign?

MEADOWS: Absolutely not. Scott is doing a great job. And let me just tell you, this town is filled with all kinds of you shouldn't do this, you shouldn't do that. Let me tell you, you can pull up any rock and find somebody that shouldn't be doing something. Scott Pruitt is doing his job. His job is safe. And I'm here to tell you that the president is not going to --


BERMAN: All right. You've been listening to the House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows. He had been commenting on outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan but you did hear him also talk about Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who he takes great issue with right now because the Justice Department hasn't handed over enough documents, he says. He also didn't close the door on the possibility of impeaching the FBI Director Christopher Wray. We're going to talk all about that in a little bit.

[10:10:01] Dana Bash and Phil Mattingly are still with me. Dana, I think it's interesting though that he brought up those subjects, Rod Rosenstein, Christopher Wray, all the chaos here, because to an extent, this is what Paul Ryan has decided to step away from. You mentioned the House Speaker shifted to a job he never wanted in the first place and that was before Donald Trump was going to be president. The president just complicated that much more.

BASH: No question about it. And look, Mark Meadows, as he mentioned, is very close to Donald Trump, a very different relationship from the House Speaker. The House Speaker has to deal with the president because of the situation that they're in because of their respective roles. But I don't necessarily think that they're close. They certainly have been - become close since I was mentioning before Meadows came up, Ryan was very, very reluctantly coming on board. Meadows is a whole different story. You know who else is a different story, John, the person who is the majority leader right now, Kevin McCarthy. He did get on board the Trump train early on. He does talk to Donald Trump and people around Trump quite often.

So, you know, one of our colleagues is reporting that potentially, there could be a race that involves the man we were just listening to, Mark Meadows running for something in leadership, maybe majority leader. Perhaps Kevin McCarthy, who we should remind people, did try to run for House Speaker and didn't - it collapsed. When Boehner said he was going to retire, perhaps he would go for it. But the other question is, is this an exercise in futility? To have this speaker's election before the November election, because you know, if even to the top ranks of the Republican Party in the House, they're very doubtful that they can keep control of the House, which would mean that they wouldn't have the speaker's chair.

BERMAN: All right, Dana, Phil, stand by, if you will. Wait. Here we go. We're looking at House Speaker Paul Ryan right now walking through the halls on his way to the microphone for the official announcement. He didn't want to scoop himself. He won't give us a hallway announcement of his departure but he's walking to the microphone right now. We're not going anywhere until he gets behind that microphone.

Phil Mattingly, to you. What do you think we're going to hear from the House Speaker today? Will this be valedictory? Will this be, you know, 70 percent tax cuts, 20 percent family, 10 percent future?

MATTINGLY: Yes. If you have Speaker Ryan bingo, I think all of those will be key boxes that you'll absolutely get the checks. Think about it from the perspective of how long Paul Ryan has actually been in Washington, D.C. He was a congressional staffer. He worked in a policy shop think tank. And then he became a very young member of Congress and he served all the way through. He has a lot to talk about in terms of his time in office. In terms of his time in Washington, and frankly, in terms of his policy prescriptions. You know, Dana was talking about the fact that he focuses a lot on policy. It's a huge issue for him.

There were very specific things that he wanted to do on the policy front. On budget side of things, on taxes, he got a lot of accomplishments. He's really focused on poverty issues over the course of the last couple of years as well. I think you'll hear a lot about the policy things that he thinks he's accomplished in the policy ideas that he hopes to work outside Congress to push. But I also think it's important to note, this is a lot about his family. You're going to hear a lot about that. You're going to hear a lot about his district. But focus on the policy side I think, John. I think he's going to talk a lot about A, what he achieved, but B, what I think he thinks he fell short on and things he can maybe help push through on the outside.

BERMAN: You bring up a great point, Phil. I mean if Paul Ryan, among other things, he is a career politician which those are words that somehow and sometimes are used pejoratively. But I think for Paul Ryan and for many, this was public service. He got into these years ago and whether or not you agree with him, he got in this game for very specific reasons and he tried to do things. Again, whether you agree with or not, for Paul Ryan, this was public service. And he's spent his entire life doing it and now as you will hear from moments from behind this microphone, he is choosing to step away.

Dana, in the few seconds we have here, you were talking about Kevin McCarthy, the current number two. It is likely perhaps that you will get a Trump guy as the next Republican leader in the House and that will be a change.

BASH: It sure will.

Look, all the possibilities are Trump guys. Even Steve Scalise who is now the number three is very much a Trump guy. They have a good relationship. Trump, I am told, really likes Scalise, of course, as he does Mark Meadows and Kevin McCarthy so it will change the dynamic in a big way regardless of what happens in November, whether the Republicans are in the majority or in the minority. Having said that, Paul Ryan has got a lot of criticism from people who are in the anti- Trump wing of the Republican Party that he has not done enough to stand up given how they know he feels in private about Donald Trump. He hasn't done enough to stand up to the president in a way that they know that he wants to.

[10:15:03] We'll see if he addresses that. And more importantly, John, we'll see if that changes now that he is a lame duck speaker and has the sort of re-election shackles off of him whether he is more outspoken about the things he disagrees with, that the president does.

BERMAN: You get the sense he will only do that if he thinks it is good for the caucus, if it helps Republicans in Congress. That seems to be what has limited Paul Ryan to be as forthcoming with his criticism of the president in the past. I believe we have someone at the White House. Who is there for us right now?

Kaitlin Collins is at the White House right now. Kaitlan, give us a send and I may have to interrupt you when Paul Ryan starts speaking of how this president has viewed this speaker.

KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, they've had a very interesting relationship. President Trump has certainly made Paul Ryan's life somewhat difficult over the past year. Even things going back as recently as the omnibus spending bill when the president was complaining about signing it, saying he was going -- he might veto it the day that he was supposed to sign it. But we do know now -- sources do tell us that Paul Ryan did call President Trump this morning to inform him of his decision that he wasn't going to seek re-election. He did that before he went into that conference meeting where he told others.

And he also called the Vice President Mike Pence, as well to let them know of his decisions. So, certainly, something he's keeping them informed of, but it will be very interesting to see how the president does negotiate with Capitol Hill with Paul Ryan in that position here -

BERMAN: Kaitlan, here he comes.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: Good morning. I wanted to share with you a little of what I just told my colleagues a few minutes ago. You realize something when you take this job. It's a big job with a lot riding on you, and you feel it, but you also know this is a job that does not last forever. You realize that you hold the office for just a small part of our history so you better make the most of it. It's fleeting, and that inspires you to do big things, and on that score, I think we have achieved a heck of a lot.

You all know that I did not seek this job. I took it reluctantly, but I have given this job everything that I have, and I have no regrets whatsoever for having accepted this responsibility. This has been one of the two greatest honors of my life. The job provides incredible opportunities, but the truth is it's easy for it to take over everything in your life, and you can't just let that happen because there are other things in life that can be fleeting, as well. Namely, your time as a husband and a dad, which is the other great honor of my life.

Now that's why today I am announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the House. To be clear, I am not resigning. I intend to serve my full term, as I was elected to do, but I will be retiring in January leaving this majority in good hands with what I believe is a very bright future. It's almost hard to believe, but I have been a member of Congress for almost two decades. This is my 20th year in Congress. My kids weren't even born when I was first elected. Our oldest was 13 years old when I became speaker. Now all three of our kids are teenagers, and one thing I've learned about teenagers is their idea of an ideal weekend is not necessarily to spend all of their time with their parents.

What I realize is if I am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad. I just can't let that happen. So I will be setting new priorities in my life, and I will also be leaving incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. Some of you know my story. My dad died when I was 16, the age my daughter is, and I just don't want to be one of those people looking back at my life thinking I wish I'd spent more time with my kids. If I spend another term they will only know me as a weekend father. So I am really proud of what we've been able to do. When I took this job, one of my conditions was that we aim high, that we do big things, that we fashion an agenda, that we run on that agenda, that we win an election, and we execute that agenda.

I am so proud that that is exactly what we have done and what we are doing right now. We've accomplished so much since then. Probably the two biggest achievements for me are, first, the major reform of our tax code for the first time in 36 years, which has already been a huge success for this country, and that's something I've been working on in my entire adult life. Second, something I've got much, much more invested on since becoming speaker is to rebuild our nation's military, and after tax reform, addressing our military readiness crisis, that was a top priority that we got done last month as well. These I see as lasting victories that will make this country more prosperous and more secure for decades to come.

[10:20:10] There are so many other things that we have gotten done, and of course, I'm going to look back proudly on my days in the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, but I don't want to be too sentimental here. I want to be clear. I'm not done yet, and I intend to run to the tape and finish the year. Some of you wonder why I can't just do the normal politician thing, which is to run and then retire after the election. That is what I am told is the politically shrewd thing to do.

I considered that, but just as my conscience is what got me to take this job in the first place, my conscience could not handle going out that way. I pledged to serve the people of Wisconsin's First District honorably, and in order to serve the people in my district honorably, I have to serve them honestly, and for me to ask them to vote to reelect me knowing that I wasn't going to stay is not being honest, so I simply cannot do that. So that's why I am announcing this today.

Again, I am proud of what this Congress has achieved, and I believe its future is bright. The economy is strong, we've given Americans greater confidence in their lives, and I have every confidence that I'll be handing this gavel on to the next Republican speaker of the House next year. So just to close, I said earlier that I didn't want this job at first, and most of you know this. I really actually didn't, but I have to thank my colleagues for giving me this opportunity and this honor.

I am really grateful for it. I also want to thank the people of southern Wisconsin for placing their trust in me as their representative for the past 20 years. I've tried to bring as much Wisconsin to Washington as I can in that time. It's been a wild ride, but it's been a journey well worth taking to be able to do my part to strengthen the American idea. That pursuit is never-ending, much work remains, but I like to think I've done my little part in history to set us on a better course. Thank you.


QUESTION: If you remain as speaker -

RYAN: Yes.

QUESTION: -- you have no plans to -

RYAN: Correct.

QUESTION: Is it attainable to have a six-month leadership.

RYAN: I do. Look, I know most speakers don't go out on their own terms -- Tip O'Neill is probably the last one to do that. But Harry Reid, Senate leader, last session did this. He announced he wasn't going to run. He stayed on as Senate leader. So yes, that's what I am going to do.

QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, you got your long-sought tax cuts and tax reform legislation approved. Would you consider it to be your greatest achievement? You're not sticking around for the biggest consequence which is trillion dollar deficits that as far as the Congressional Budget Office I can see, what's your response to that?

RYAN: So, entitlement reform is the one thing that that one of the great thing that I've spent most of my career working on. I am extremely proud of the fact that the House passed the biggest entitlement reform bill ever considered in the House of Representatives. Do I regret the fact that the Senate did not pass this? Yes, but I feel from all of the budgets that I've passed, normalizing entitlement reform, pushing the cause of the entitlement reform and the House passing entitlement reform. I'm very proud of that fact. But yes, of course more work needs to be done and it really is entitlement. That's where the work needs to be done and I'm going to keep fighting for that.

QUESTION: Mr. Speaker? Did the chance that you might not be speaker come November if the Democrats possibly take the House factor at all?

RYAN: No, none whatsoever, actually. Look, you all know me. I didn't take this job to get the gavel in the first place. I'm not a guy who thinks about it like that. This really was two things. I have accomplished much of what I came here to do, and my kids aren't getting any younger. And if I stay, they're only going to know me as a weekend dad, and that's just something I consciously can't do. And that's really it right there.

QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, do you worry about the impact of your announcement on the 2018 midterms and perhaps sending a signal that the House is lost to Republicans?

RYAN: I gave it some consideration, but I really do not believe whether I stay or go in 2019 is going to affect a person's individual race for Congress. I really don't think a person's race for Congress is going to hinge on whether Paul Ryan is speaker or not. So I really don't think it affects it. Look, if we do our jobs, which we are, we're going to be fine as a majority. I'm grateful for the president to give us this chance to actually get this stuff done. I'm grateful that we have unified government that the president with his victory gave us so we get all these big things done. We're going to have a great record to run on. We have a great economy, great accomplishments, more to do. And I really don't think that the American people are going to want to have the gridlock that the Democrats are promising. So I'm confident we can run through the tape and we can get this done.

QUESTION: On the president, he has been openly talking about firing Bob Mueller, potentially firing the deputy attorney general. What are your thoughts on that?

RYAN: My thoughts haven't changed. I think they should be allowed to do their jobs. We have a rule of law in this country, and that's a principle we all uphold. I have no reason to believe that's going to happen. I have assurances that's not because I've been talking to people in the White House about it.

[10:25:05] QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) replace you once you retire? Who do you think would be good to lead the conference? Would McCarthy be able to do it? Would Scalise?

RYAN: I have great confidence in this leadership team. That's one thing that I'm really proud of. Obviously, I came with a big gulf in leadership when I came here. I think we have a fantastic leadership team. I have more thoughts on this. I think this is probably not the right time to get into that, and I'll share those thoughts later. That election is in November, so it's not something we have to sweat right now.

QUESTION: To what extent was your decision influenced by the way President Trump has changed the character of Washington and the character of the Republican Party?

RYAN: Not at all. Like you said, I'm grateful for the president for giving us this opportunity to do big things to get this country on the right track. So the fact that he gave us this ability to get all this stuff done makes me proud of the accomplishments that I've been a contributor to, makes me satisfied that I've made a big difference. And he has given us that chance. So I'm grateful to him for that and that's really how I see it. Thank you very much, everybody.

BERMAN: You've been seeing House Speaker Paul Ryan announce that he will leave Congress after his term expires after 20 years serving the people of Janesville, Wisconsin and several years as Speaker of the House, a job he said he never wanted but in which he says he accomplished much of what he set out to do.

I am joined now by Phil Mattingly, David Chalian and Dana Bash. Dana, what did you hear there? BASH: You know, I heard somebody who genuinely is -- is not giving a politician's line about wanting to spend more time with his family. I got to know Paul Ryan a little bit when he was picked as Mitt Romney's running mate back in 2012 and of course, a little bit before that when he was a Rank and File member. And the thing he mentioned about his dad is real. He lost his father young, and like any human who loses a parent at all, but particularly as a teenager that stays with you and Ryan is a family man. And I think that that is just about the most genuine thing that we -- that we can hear from a politician, particularly this one, that he really means it.

Having said that, this is -- this is difficult. There's no question. He has spent his life in public service whether he was at a think tank when he was in his early 20s or a staffer on Capitol Hill and a very, very young member of Congress. This is what he has been all about aside from his family, it has defined him. He's had very specific things he's wanted to do.

And I really do believe that tax reform that you know he's got that box checked, but entitlement reform, I'm sure you and I and many of our viewers have seen his famous PowerPoint presentations about how the entitlement spending in this country is exploding the deficit and is terrible for the future, the fact that he was not able to accomplish that is something that he's going to feel bad about.

BERMAN: David Chalian, and first of all, the statement that Speaker Ryan made there was that if he served one more term my kids would only ever know me as a weekend dad. That resonates. Look, we can all be cynical about people, you know, making excuses to spend more time with their family but as a father, I can tell you, that does resonate. David, the president - not the president, the speaker was very careful about how he spoke about President Trump, and didn't mention him at all in the prepared remarks but then in the Q and A he talked about how he was grateful for President Trump so he could get one-party control to get things done. That felt careful to me.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. Meaning, he was grateful for any Republican president who would be sitting there to sign legislation into law, the unified government to get stuff done. It was - I don't want - it was a gracious hat tip to the president, but what didn't get explored in this press conference and I'm sure it will -- in the days to come is the Republican Party of Donald Trump left behind that Paul Ryan is leaving. You and I were talking about this a bit earlier, but this is the guy that was on Mitt Romney's ticket as the VP nominee in 2012 seeking to be the leader, a leader of a Republican Party that has been transformed by Donald Trump.

And so, he appreciates the unified government and a nice hat tip to the president. Of course, that was followed up by a clear sort of brushback on the notion that the president may fire Mueller or Rosenstein. But nonetheless, we should not expect some lovefest between Paul Ryan and Donald Trump in these last few months that he's going to serve as speaker.

BERMAN: Phil Mattingly, Paul Ryan made it clear, he will continue on as House Speaker throughout the remainder of this term until January when he will retire. He said he does not believe his departure will hurt Republicans in their re-election bid. He says he doesn't think people will vote based on that. Nevertheless, it does add to a little bit of the upheaval I think that the party faces going forward.

MATTINGLY: Yes, no question. I think he left out one of the most important elements of why his speakership is important from electoral perspective. And that's his fundraising. And I think the reality is over the course of the last -