Hardline Republicans To Paul Ryan: Family Time Isn’t In The Job Description For Speaker

"You can't do the job 9 to 5, Monday through Friday."

WASHINGTON -- Hardline conservatives were skeptical of Rep. Paul Ryan's potential bid for speaker almost immediately after he announced it, but it's not just differences in policy or process they are wary of. It's also the Wisconsin Republican's desire to spend time with his family as part of his list of demands.

It's not necessarily directed as a criticism -- just a reality of the job, Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, told reporters Wednesday morning.

"You can't do the job 9 to 5, Monday through Friday," he said. "That's not a criticism. The speaker has to work on weekends. I'm not running for speaker. I've got young kids at home and there's plenty of jobs I'm unable to do. But the time commitment isn't 40 hours a week. And I think that's going to be part of the discussion."

Huelskamp went so far as to almost praise Speaker John Boehner, who is stepping down at the end of month. The Kansas Republican is among the group of conservatives credited with Boehner's resignation.

"Speaker John Boehner raised $50 million," he said. "The speaker has to work more than 40 hours a week."

Other conservatives including Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks said one of the things the Freedom Caucus will have to "ascertain is whether or not (Ryan) has time to do the job."

The group is expected to meet with Paul on Wednesday.

And conservatives in the House weren't the only ones bringing up Paul's emphasis on having enough time with his family.

Laura Ingraham, a popular conservative talk radio host, expressed outrage on Twitter regarding Ryan not willing to give up weekends with his family.

John Adams left his wife for years at a time to serve his country. George Washington left Mt Vernon for Valley Forge.

Moronic argument--No one is forcing him to do the job. Keep your wkends & let someone else help save the country. https://t.co/AmmHYXLeUz

Ryan is expected to announce whether he will pursue a bid for speaker on Friday. He laid out a few conditions Tuesday evening for his colleagues to agree to if they want him to be speaker. Family time was one of the main conditions.

Ryan has been hesitant to run for speaker because he believes the job is best suited for "an empty nester."

"I cannot and will not give up my family time,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

"Like many of you, Janna and I have children who are in the formative, foundational years of their lives. I genuinely worry about the consequences that my agreeing to serve will have on them," he added.

In response to concerns about Ryan not spending enough time on the road on weekends to raise campaign cash for House Republicans, Boehner expressed confidence Wednesday that Ryan could balance the speakership well while spending time with his family.

"I frankly outlined over the last week or so the way Paul could do this differently than the way I did," Boehner told reporters.

Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, a Boehner ally, also said the fundraising aspect would "all work out" should Ryan choose to run and be elected speaker.

"God forbid he wants to spend time with his family," he added. "As the father of two kids, we should encourage that. Families are what keep us grounded and why we do all this. I hope he gets to spend a decent amount of time with his family because that's a pretty important role he's got too."

Skip to footer