House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan planned a speech on Tuesday to try to put to rest any Republican hopes that he could be drafted as a presidential candidate and save the party from an expected disaster if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz is the nominee.


Ryan, the top elected Republican in Washington and the 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.


The Wisconsin congressman scheduled a speech at 3:15 p.m. EDT (1915 GMT) at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington.


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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.

Ryan has repeatedly said he is not interested in entering the presidential race, but advocates for such a scenario have pointed out that he was cool to becoming House speaker until he was finally persuaded to take over from John Boehner last year.

Republicans who see a disaster looming in the Nov. 8 presidential election if Trump or U.S. Senator Cruz of Texas is the nominee have harbored hopes of drafting a popular party figure like Ryan or 2012 candidate Mitt Romney.

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For that to happen, no candidate would have garnered the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention, and delegates there would have to approve a consensus alternative on a second or subsequent ballot.

Ryan's announcement came on a day when long-shot Republican presidential candidate John Kasich portrayed himself as an antidote to what he called the divisive politics of Trump and Cruz and criticized them as wanting to take the United States down a "path of darkness."

Kasich's "two paths" speech in New York City was an effort to distinguish himself from his rivals and carve out a space for himself as a positive, reasonable conservative a week before New York state's Republican and Democratic primaries on April 19.​