— -- House Speaker Paul Ryan ruled out a White House bid this year, saying flatly "count me out" in an attempt to put to rest speculation that he could wind up with the GOP presidential nomination through a contested convention this summer in Cleveland.
"I want to put this for rest once and for all," Ryan told reporters at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters. "I should not be considered. Period. End of story."
Ryan delivered his most Shermanasque statement to date on the presidential race -- telling his party bluntly he has no desire to make a move at the Republican nominating convention this summer if no candidate clinches the nomination outright. He also pointed out that the political climate is different now than when he ran for speaker.
Asked about a convention rule change that could pave the way to his nomination, Ryan said he encourages the delegates to enact rules limiting the contest to the remaining candidates.
"I believe you should only chose from a person who has actually participated in the primary," Ryan said.
Ryan stressed that his job is to continue developing an agenda for the eventual GOP nominee. His refusal to step into the presidential race leaves Republicans with three options: front-runner Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich.