House Republicans gathered for a party meeting Friday morning to discuss who will fill the role of speaker and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin appears to be the consensus candidate, but he hasn’t decided that he wants the job.
Less than 24 hours after leading contender Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California abruptly withdrew his name from the election as tea party-aligned members are demanding one of their own, members are scrambling to determine a path forward.
Ryan is being pressured by leadership to run, but he has consistently said that he’s not interested in the job – a position that could change if persuasion continues, of course.
McCarthy told reporters Friday morning that Ryan is “looking” at the speaker position but that “it has to be his decision.”
Ryan, however, rejects the idea – for now.
“My statement stands. I haven’t changed anything. I’ve got nothing to add right now,” he said.
Ryan’s spokesperson, Brendan Buck, said Ryan is not running – again for now.
“Chairman Ryan appreciates the support he’s getting from his colleagues but is still not running for Speaker.”
Rep. Darrell Issa of California said of Ryan: “It is very clear he is reconsidering,” adding that he is going to spend the weekend talking to his family about the job that demands many days away from home because of fundraising and leadership demands.
Issa added that Ryan is “under tremendous pressure” because “he is the only candidate we can broadly agree on and get to 240 votes on the floor.”
The California Republican said he would step forward “if only, only if Paul Ryan doesn’t run.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who is leading the committee investigating the Benghazi attacks and has the respect of leadership and the ideological alignment of the tea party, has also been mentioned as a possible contender said Friday that he’s not receiving pressure to run. As for supporting Ryan, he said he would “unabashedly” get behind him.
Gowdy left a note on Ryan’s office door labeled “Chairman for life Paul Ryan.” Ryan is the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who is also running for speaker, said he would support Ryan if he decides to run.
“Let me try to be as clear as I can, if Paul Ryan gets in the race, I am a huge fan of Paul Ryan, I would support Paul Ryan. I would hope that he would do it,” Chaffetz said.
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Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a close confident of current House Speaker John Boehner, said Boehner and McCarthy have “fallen on their swords for good of the conference” by stepping back they didn’t have the support of all Republicans. “I think when you see sacrifice at that level, it demands that everybody look inside and say what can I do in this situation,” he added.
But another candidate, Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida, who received the endorsement of the Freedom Caucus, did not say if he would support Ryan. He did, however, say he would remain a contender in the race.
“All I want is to do what I did on Florida. Push down the pyramid of power and spread out the base. That’s it,” he said.
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.