(POLITICO) Paul Ryan wants a full embrace from the House Freedom Caucus before he runs for House speaker. Early signs from the conservatives are they might never get there.
After Ryan addressed House Republicans late Tuesday, saying he would need conservative backing to run, lawmakers in the 40-member group of hard-line conservatives came away wary of the Ways and Means chief’s demand for unconditional support. They were dismissive of Ryan’s request that they relinquish a procedural tactic they used to threaten to strip outgoing Speaker John Boehner of his title — one of the most potent weapons in the group’s arsenal.
And it is clear the conservative lawmakers will insist on more specifics from Ryan before they would consider an endorsement. Sources within the caucus said he'll have to discuss policy and procedural changes the Freedom Caucus wants and offer up tangible promises to decentralize power from leadership to rank-and-file members if he wants the group's backing.
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