Paul Ryan Denies Presidential Aspirations

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (UPI) — Congressional fiscal hawk Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Tuesday tapped down a report he was mulling a possible run for president.

Roll Call reported what it described as a well-placed Republican operative as saying Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, was considering entering the 2012 race but likely would decide against it. Word of Ryan’s interest in running was first reported by the Weekly Standard.

But Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert quickly issued a denial, The Hill reported.

“While grateful for the continued support and encouragement, Congressman Ryan has not changed his mind,” Seifert said.

Ryan has knocked down previous talk of a run as well, most recently Aug. 7 on “Fox News Sunday” when he said, “My answer is still no.”

Roll Call said its source revealed Ryan had talked it over with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, when they discussed whether Ryan should be appointed to the bipartisan congressional budget-cutting supercommittee. However, the source said, Ryan was unlikely to jump into the race.

“Despite a new round of urging and conversations, nothing has changed,” the source said. “People continue to urge Paul Ryan to run — that group is growing, not shrinking. But I am unaware of anything changing his calculus or plan to do that.

“He’s not intimidated by [GOP candidate and Texas Gov.] Rick Perry or anything. But if he were to do this, it certainly just got harder; it didn’t get easier.”

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