The Weekly Standard reports that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has made the final decision that he is not running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.Ryan, the chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee and champion of fiscal conservatism, has been courted by Establishment Republicans, including Karl Rove and Frank Lutz, who have been looking for a deficit hawk ever since Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels opted out of the presidential race in May.
The Wisconsin Republican was reported to be seriously considering a bid as recently as last week, after voicing his own discontent with the current Republican presidential field in the wake of the Iowa debate earlier this month. But after consulting extensively with his family, political advisors, and Republican party leaders and strategists, Ryan decided that he would rather stay in his current position to focus on debt and entitlement reform.
Here’s his statement, via the Weekly Standard:
“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. 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. I remain grateful to those I serve in Southern Wisconsin for the unique opportunity to advance this effort in Congress.”
Ryan’s decision appears to have been influenced at least in part by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to enter the race earlier this month. Perry’s campaign has reached out to Ryan in recent days, and the two men plan to meet in Washington, D.C., in the next few weeks.