Speaker Paul Ryan Tells Colbert He’s Not Running for President—in Multiple Languages

'Nein', 'nyet'
April 20, 2016 Updated: April 20, 2016

Speaker Paul Ryan has said over and over that he will not be running for president, and now he’s doing so in multiple languages. 

Ryan went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and took part in a skit poking fun at his resistance to calls for him run in the event of a contested convention at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer. 

“Yes or no—would you accept the nomination?” Colbert asked Ryan.

“No, Stephen,” Ryan replied. “I have said I do not want, nor would I accept, the Republican nomination.”

“Got it,” said Colbert. “So—you’re considering the nomination?”

“No, I’m not.”

“OK. I’ll give you some time to mull this one over.” Long pause. “How about now?”

At one point Ryan told Colbert, “Let me say it in clear English. No.”

“Okay, what about in clear German?”


“Clear Russian?”


“Wow, you seem to know a lot of foreign languages. That kind of international experience will really come in handy if you decide to accept the Republican nomination,” Colbert quipped.

The skit continued with ship metaphors: 

“Was the ship that sailed the S.S. Yes on its way to Nomination Harbor?” Colbert said.

“No, it was the H.M.S. Not Gonna Happen on a one-way voyage to How Could I Be Any Clearer?” Ryan responded.

I made a decision in this cycle for 2016 not to run for president.
— Paul Ryan

On a CNN interview, Ryan said that he’s already made up his mind about 2016, but left open the possibility when asked about 2020 or beyond.

“Well, no, but I don’t think that far down the road,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “I made a decision in this cycle for 2016 not to run for president.”

Speaker Ryan has more and more questions about a potential presidential bid in the event of a contested convention. 

He has consistently said “no” with a standard line that he should have run for the nomination if he wanted it.

“I don’t think it’s right to have someone parachute in who never ran for the job. And in my case, I specifically decided not to run for the job,” Ryan said.

“I don’t know how I can be any clearer than that.”