The Hill, a national political website, quoted sources Thursday as saying Issa was weighing a bid for the key position following the decision of Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfied to withdraw from consideration. McCarthy, the House majority leader, was next in line for the position following the resignation of Rep. John. Boehner.
“Kevin McCarthy demonstrated the character of a true leader by taking a step back and putting the interests of our conference ahead of his own. He remains our leader and maintains the respect and confidence of his colleagues,” Issa said in a statement.
“Now, it’s incumbent upon us to have a robust conversation about the direction and future of our party. I pledge to play a constructive role in that discussion and hope my colleagues will do the same as we work to choose a speaker who best represents the values and aspirations of the American people,” the Republican from Vista added.
On Friday, in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Issa said he is “potentially a candidate” but cited Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a former vice-presidential candidate, as a more plausible choice.
Conservative Republican Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Daniel Webster of Florida have officially declared their interest in the position, while Ryan of Wisconsin has said he is not interested.
Issa, a former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is serving his seventh term in Congress.