Rep. Paul Ryan told NBC News on Friday it’s “very exciting” to have the support of his GOP colleagues in Congress behind his bid for House speaker.
Ryan, who officially announced his candidacy for speaker late Thursday, spent an hour Friday talking with about a dozen of the most conservative members of the GOP conference. Before running, Ryan said he needed to have support from all factions of the House GOP to prevent the party fractures that characterized House Speaker John Boehner’s tenure.
“I walked out of the room optimistic that we can form a unified conference and it is going to be happy to come back to work again,” Rep. Steve King, R-IA, said after meeting with Ryan.
“We had a very productive meeting, a lot of discussions,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-KS, who also attended the meeting.
The Republican conference will cast votes for speaker Wednesday, Oct. 28 followed by a vote on the House floor by both parties Thursday, Oct. 29.
While Huelskamp said he would give his vote Wednesday to Rep. Daniel Webster, R-FL, – the only other declared candidate for speaker – the Kansas Republican would not rule out voting for Ryan on the House floor Thursday.
“When you put your speakership on the line and you say this will stop [the culture of retribution], and I will talk to those folks, that’s a very strong commitment,” Huelskamp added.
Ryan met privately with Webster Friday morning.