Republican rebels and defenders of the party line found a shred of common cause on Sunday, in the hope that one man might be able to quell the chaos in their ranks.
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After a week of party chaos, hardline conservatives and their establishment opponents agreed on one thing: Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan may be the only person able to unite the party as speaker of the House, one of the most powerful positions in Washington, during critical months of the presidential primary and under the threat of another government shutdown.
After current speaker John Boehner announced his resignation and his presumptive successor, Kevin McCarthy, withdrew from contention, Ryan said he would not run.
After extensive pleading from panicked colleagues, however, the chair of the House ways and means committee, who was Mitt Romney’s presidential running mate in 2012, said he would reconsider and retreated to Wisconsin for the weekend.
Nonetheless, far-right and Tea Party conservatives pressed their case on Sunday for a major shake-up inside the party.