- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Turns out rank-and-file Republicans aren’t the only ones clamoring for Rep. Paul Ryan to become the next House speaker.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says the former vice presidential candidate from Wisconsin would be his pick, too.

“I’m a Paul Ryan fan,” Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, said during a press availability Tuesday.

His remarks had many wondering if the veteran lawmaker was trying to sow more dissension in the GOP ranks.

Prompted by a reporter, Mr. Reid seemed to acknowledge that his endorsement of Mr. Ryan would make him less attractive to certain Republicans.

“You speak the truth,” he said.

Mr. Reid said Mr. Ryan, the Ways and Means Committee chairman who’s been mum about whether he’ll reverse course and pursue the speaker post, is the most “reasonable” candidate among those interested in replacing Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican who planned to step down Oct. 30 but has agreed to stay on until the GOP conference picks his successor.

He said Democrats have been able to work with Mr. Ryan, despite disagreements.

Besides Mr. Ryan, who still must decide whether to run, Republican Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Daniel Webster of Florida are in contention for the job.

Dozens of hardline conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have backed Mr. Webster, a move that prompted Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California to withdraw his name from consideration despite being the front-runner to replace Mr. Boehner, since he might not be able to gather 218 votes from the chamber without making notable concessions to the small faction of conservatives.

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