Aug 222011
 
Authors: McClatchey-Tribune

MILWAUKEE — Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Monday that he has ruled out running for president in 2012, amid another round of political speculation about his potential interest in the campaign.

“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President,” Ryan said in a statement.

It’s not the first time this year Ryan has said no to a White House bid. But speculation about a Ryan candidacy has persisted, and according to some media reports, Ryan was taking a second look at the race in recent weeks.

The House budget chairman has been urged to jump into the race by some GOP insiders dissatisfied with the current field, which is led by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota.

Ryan’s fans within the party see him as a skilled, swing-state politician who can make the party’s best case for attacking the federal debt and overhauling entitlement programs. At the same time, some Democrats have argued that the Medicare changes he’s proposing would be a huge liability for a GOP ticket.

“I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation,” said Ryan in the statement.

In an earlier interview this summer with the Journal Sentinel, Ryan cited at least two reasons for not running: his family (he has three young children) and wanting to see through, in Congress, the debate he started there with his controversial House budget plan, which makes sweeping changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

“I think I’m making a pretty big difference where I am. I started the fight for fiscal conservatism in the House. I don’t want to walk away from it. And I feel like I would sort of walk away from it and politicize it more (if he left the House to run nationally),” Ryan said in the June 30 interview.

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