WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan removed any doubt Friday, telling an interviewer he will absolutely run for speaker again in the new Congress, assuming Republicans hold their majority after Tuesday's election.
Ryan has faced a backlash from some conservative lawmakers for distancing himself from Donald Trump's presidential campaign, with some in his own party questioning whether he was putting his own potential presidential ambitions in 2020 or 2024 ahead of helping Trump win this election.
In the wake of the Access Hollywood tape, Ryan announced he would no longer campaign on behalf of Trump and would instead focus on keeping Congress in Republican hands.
Ryan was not the unanimous choice of Republicans to replace John Boehner when he stepped down, though only nine GOP lawmakers did not support him publicly. However, if Republicans lose ground in the election, his margin for victory will shrink and the potency of the anti-Boehner bloc will likely increase as the most conservative lawmakers hail from safely Republican districts and are not in danger of losing, meaning any seats lost will likely come from the Ryan-loyal wing of the caucus.
Boehner was forced out of the speaker's chair by many of the same Republicans who have embraced Trump.
"I am going to seek staying on as speaker," Ryan said in a home state radio interview with WTAQ-Green Bay. "There's a lot of unfinished work to do and I think I can do a lot to help our cause and our country. I've led us to offer a very comprehensive agenda to take to the country and I want to execute and implement that agenda."
"This is the typical chatter you have every two years," he added of recent suggestions on Capitol Hill that he'll bow out of GOP leadership. "They call it 'palace intrigue' in the Hill rags."