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One Reason Paul Ryan Is Reluctant To Run For House Speaker: His Kids

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 9/10/2015 Marina Fang
HORIZONTAL © STAN HONDA via Getty Images HORIZONTAL

When House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) abruptly withdrew from the race to replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday, many GOP representatives turned to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as their only hope to unite the party.

But Ryan, the Ways and Means chairman and 2012 vice presidential nominee, insisted he's not interested. One reason that he has frequently cited: his kids. Ryan has three young children and goes back to his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, every weekend to spend time with his family.

Even as rumors swirled on Thursday night that Ryan was reconsidering, his colleagues said a major hurdle was strains that the notoriously rigorous job would place on Ryan's family.

“He’s got small kids. He’s a family guy. He goes home every weekend. And that job is really, really tough and very demanding,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said.

“This is a job where you are expected to be on the road about a hundred days a year,” Ryan said in September. “Our kids are 10, 12 and 13, and I’m not going to do that.”

Ryan already has more responsibilities than the average congressman, due to his position as chair of one of the most influential committees. But he spends more time in Wisconsin than other members of his state's congressional delegation, according to USA Today.

“He takes being a dad to his young kids pretty seriously, and I think he recognizes that the job of speaker would pull him away from his family way more than he would like to be," fellow Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble (R) said on Thursday.

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