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Inside an outsider's quest to become the next House speaker

Former Wisconsin Republican congressional candidate Paul Nehlen, who challenged House Speaker Paul Ryan in the GOP primary, talks with voter Mary Ruffolo in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

Paul Nehlen isn't a congressman, but he still wants to be the speaker of the House of Representatives.

It's quite the long shot, but as the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives' website points out, the speaker doesn't have to be a member of the House even though that has always been the case — and Nehlen is hoping to break in.

In fact, the Constitution specifically states, "The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers."

Current House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) doesn't have the fortitude to rein in the executive branch, no matter who wins in November, Nehlen told TheBlaze in an interview.

"The responsibility of the speaker is to hold the executive branch in check and to run regular order. Neither of which Speaker Ryan has done," Nehlen said.

"I think it's necessary for someone from the outside to step up and be the catalyst for this change," he continued.

Nehlen's fight against Ryan isn't new. The calculated Wisconsin businessman launched a primary challenge against Ryan over the summer. Though he lost big — 84 percent to 16 percent — one thing can certainly be said of bombastic Nehlen: He doesn't give up.

Nehlen's goal is a Congress without Ryan's influence. He said he would support a candidate other than himself as long as that person embodied his same ideals. And he wouldn't immediately rule out the possibility of supporting one of these like-minded individuals working with and mentoring Ryan either.

"If somebody who I think has the right mindset and wants to do these things, I would back them 100 percent," Nehlen told TheBlaze. "I would scream it from the mountaintops. It doesn’t have to be Paul Nehlen; it just can’t be Paul Ryan."

He won't name names, but Nehlen asserted that he has received support for his quixotic campaign from a variety of people — including those connected with the specific voters he will need when the leadership holds elections.

And his campaign officials have remained tight-lipped about his campaign strategy as well. However, a source close to the endeavor told TheBlaze that Republicans in conservative districts who might not be so conservative could face primary challengers who will test them on their support for Ryan as speaker.

With Ryan's tiff with GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, it's no secret that he faces fallout with other top House Republicans, multiple sources opined to the TheBlaze.

And as CNN reported, should Trump lose in November, there could be immense pressure from outside groups to oust Ryan from his speakership.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) told CNN that, while he would support Ryan for speaker again, the leader is in a "tough spot."

Other congressional members, including those who have been floated as a possible challenger to Ryan, simply shrugged off commenting on the position until after the November election.

Ryan's office did not respond to a request for comment for this report.

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