House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said on Tuesday he would reject any attempt to draft him as a presidential candidate, trying to silence speculation that he could surface as a unity choice should Donald Trump or Ted Cruz falter.
"Let me be clear: I do not want nor will I accept the nomination of our party," Ryan said in remarks at the Republican National Committee.
Ryan, the top elected Republican in Washington and the party's 2012 vice presidential candidate, has been the subject of persistent speculation that he could emerge as the nominee if an impasse over the party's pick develops at the July 18-21 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
In an interview with Milwaukee's WISN radio earlier on Tuesday, Ryan said: "I am going to try again today to put this bed. The answer is 'No' and my strong opinion is, if it goes to an open convention ... my answer is the delegates should pick among the people who actually ran for president this year ...
"I made a really clear choice not to run for president. Therefore, I will not be nominated. I will not allow my name to be placed in nomination and it will not be me. ...I just want to be really crystal clear," he said.