Ryan's departure sparks unrest among GOP

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The record number of retirements - up to 39 with Ryan's announcement - has already sent signals the party isn't confident in its chances. With few actual accomplishments Paul Ryan was somehow placed on a pedestal as some gifted intellectual.

Ryan's Medicare plan has created a framework for Republicans looking to curb entitlement spending, particularly for the insurance program for the elderly, and gave the movement a prominent spokesman, Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) told Bloomberg Law.

"Paul Ryan has been a passionate advocate for Wisconsin and a dedicated public servant for two decades".

Another Republican mentioned as a potential candidate is longtime Ryan family friend and backer Bryan Steil, an attorney and member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. Just last month, the neo-Nazi Arthur Jones won the Republican nomination for an IL congressional seat after the party failed to nominate another candidate.

Is that why Mr. Ryan is quitting?

On the Democratic side, Randy Bryce, a union iron worker, presents a formidable challenge with almost $5 million raised already.

Ryan's intentions were first reported on the website Axios.

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"Paul Ryan has been a champion for his constituents and a respected leader among his peers. Instead of playing the identity politics of "our base" and 'their base, ' we unite people around ideas and principles", Ryan said in a March 2016 speech on the state of American politics. "We are grateful for his service to our country and his leadership in our Party".

"Paul Ryan is an institution here in Janesville and also in the 1st Congressional District".

"I look forward to the upcoming campaign". Ryan repeatedly tried, and failed, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and each day he's been in office, he's shown that he does not stand with women and families.

King also pressed Ryan about his relationship with Trump, with the speaker insisting that he and Trump worked well together, despite disagreeing on some issues.

Democrats began to evoke Ryan in campaign spots, seeing him as an easier target than Trump in some districts.

One is tempted to call Ryan's journey tragic, the tale of a young, idealistic family man transformed into an enabler for the most morally indifferent and utterly selfish president in our nation's history. He will not be remembered as a visionary or a great legislator, but as a weak representative that compromised what little integrity he had to appease Donald Trump and an authoritarian administration. And it threw the House into a leadership battle that could end up pushing Ryan aside sooner than he intended and crush any hopes for significant legislation before the election. This makes forward planning impossible and has effectively turned the speaker's office into the House GOP complaint department. A self-styled budget guru, Ryan had made tax cuts a centrepiece of his legislative agenda, and a personal cause, and Congress delivered on that late a year ago.

The speaker had been heading toward this decision since late past year, said a person familiar with his thinking, but as recently as February he had considered running for another term.

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