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Mike Pence won't say whether Paul Ryan should remain as speaker

CBS News


GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence won't say whether Speaker Paul Ryan should keep his gavel in the new Congress.

In an interview with the National Review, Donald Trump's running mate was asked three times to answer the question of whether Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, should be reelected as speaker. The conservative outlet said Pence declined to respond three times.

"My respect for Paul Ryan is boundless," he said, repeating it twice, according to the report. "I'm not a member of the House Republican conference anymore. I wouldn't presume upon what the members of the conference choose."

A senior adviser to Pence, currently the governor of Indiana, later told the National Review that if Pence were still serving in the House, he would vote to reelect Ryan. At a rally in Michigan Thursday, Pence also acted incredulous about the story.

Pence previously served in the House from 2001 to 2013, and served as chairman of the House Republican Conference.

In early October, after the Access Hollywood tape from 2005 surfaced showing Trump making lewd comments about women,Ryan told his colleagues he would no longer campaign for or defend the GOP presidential nominee Speaking to Fox News' "Fox and Friends" on Tuesday, Ryan said he still wound up voting for Trump.

"I stand where I've stood all fall and all summer," he said. "I already voted here in Janesville for our nominee last week in early voting. We need to support our entire Republican ticket. "I already voted here in Janesville for our nominee last week in early voting. We need to support our entire Republican ticket."

Some rumors have spread of conservatives potentially trying to remove Ryan as speaker next year, but Politico reported this week that might not happen if conservatives get a leadership slot.

House Republicans will hold internal leadership elections in mid-November and will hold the official floor vote for speaker when the new House comes into session in January.