US House Speaker Paul Ryan's shock retirement announcement marks the latest victory in a populist, anti-establishment revolution that brought its champion Donald Trump to power and is remaking the Republican Party. "Bad idea", said Republican Representative Charlie Dent.
After 20 years in Congress, a failed vice-presidential bid on Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential ticket and two and half years as Speaker of the House, Ryan has little more to show than failed policies and internal dissent within the RNC. "I think he should be left to do his job", Ryan said of Mueller.
When pressed about Trump, Ryan said that they had agreed on an agenda, but wouldn't say definitively whether they shared a vision for the GOP. In a statement, he said Republicans were "looking at other tools to cut spending" and added: "We have nothing to lose by making big changes".
When Todd asked if Trump tried to talk Ryan out of retiring, Ryan repeated that the president was "disappointed".
The front-runner to lead House Republicans is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, though his rise is far from certain. Ryan has been "a steady force in contrast to the president's more mercurial tone", said Rep. Mark Sanford of SC.
Mr Ryan is by all accounts a good man. He faced his most serious challenge since he was first elected in his Republican-leaning Wisconsin district in 1998. He has had more trust with the hardliners in the House.
"After his last run and coming up a bit short, Kevin could have kind of taken his ball and gone home and [said] a pox upon you all", said Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich. "His ability to bridge the vast divide".
Scalise didn't answer directly when asked if he's now supporting McCarthy. He will likely compete with Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
"What means most to me is that in the next Congress, there is an opportunity for a Republican to be speaker and not Nancy Pelosi", he said, referring to the House Democratic leader. "Leadership has never been on my bucket list, and it's not on my bucket list today", he said.
Both Democrats and moderate Republicans warned against such an outcome. "You know the team, you know the leadership, and then you've got a horse to ride through the election cycle", he said, explaining their thinking.
"It injects some more uncertainty to be sure", said the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas.
His announced departure after just 30 months as the most powerful Republican in Congress suggests that what once belonged to establishment Republicans -those buoyed by the conservative revolution of Ronald Reagan - is now up for grabs. "I understand his decision to return to Wisconsin and his family, but I will dearly miss my friend". The only declared Republicans are Paul Nehlen, who was banned from Twitter earlier this year for posts criticized as racist or anti-Semitic, and Nick Polce, an Army veteran who also co-owns a security consulting firm.
Ryan moved to preempt an open succession scramble, telling reporters that he meant to "stay here and run through the tape" until a new Congress is seated in January.