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Paul Ryan Says He Won’t Step Down As House Speaker

At Campaign Stop With Johnson, Republican Leader Dodges Question About Clinton Impeachment

Paul Ryan
Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

Paul Ryan is denying reports that he plans to step down as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives after Tuesday’s election.

Ryan was asked following a campaign stop Friday with U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson about a report in The Hill newspaper that he was no longer interested in being speaker.

“No, not true, don’t believe everything you read,” Ryan told reporters. “I am interested in staying on as speaker. You want to know why? Because we have an agenda that we have to put into law in 2017. I helped create it.”

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Ryan also said Republicans were unifying as Election Day draws near.

“No we are coming together,” he said. “Look, I already voted for Donald Trump and Mike Pence last week. I voted for Ron Johnson last week. Early voting in Wisconsin. We as Republicans are unifying. You know why we’re unifying? Because we’ve got to get this country back on track.”

Johnson was asked about his recent comment that Hillary Clinton could be impeached if she’s elected. Johnson said, “I never raised the issue. I was asked the question and I provided an honest answer. It was somebody else that raised the specter of the ‘I’ word, OK?”

Ryan said, “I’ve got a better idea. Let’s make sure she isn’t elected in the first place.”

While campaigning earlier Friday, Johnson urged Republicans to vote for him in Wisconsin’s tight Senate race to avoid a recount like Minnesota had in 2008.

Johnson said he was referring to the race between then-Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken. The 2008 Coleman-Franken race wasn’t decided until after a bitter recount that lasted into June, and was ultimately decided by a mere 312 votes out of nearly 2.9 million cast.

“We can’t let that happen in Wisconsin,” Johnson said.

The most recent Marquette University Law School poll shows Clinton leading Republican nominee Donald Trump by 6 points in the state, with the race between Johnson and democratic challenger Russ Feingold statistically tied.

When asked if Trump was hurting his chances, Johnson said he was not a pundit and trusted the people of Wisconsin.

The power went out inside a Mosinee manufacturing facility about 40 minutes before Ryan and Johnson were to appear on the floor of Crystal Finishing Systems in Mosinee, about 130 miles north of Madison.

About 45 minutes before the rally was to start, as the campaign was playing music over a loudspeaker system, the lights flickered but remained on. About five minutes later the large manufacturing floor went completely dark.

Friday’s stop in Mosinee is the first stop Ryan is making on the bus tour that goes up to Election Day.

Money and big names have poured into Wisconsin this week as polls show the Senate race tightening. Trump is coming Sunday to West Allis and his running mate Mike Pence is joining Ryan and Johnson for a rally Saturday in Mukwonago.

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