Prominent Wisconsin Congressman and 2012 Republican vice presidential contender Paul Ryan has removed himself from contention for his party’s 2016 presidential nomination.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, told NBC News in an interview Monday that he will not seek the presidency in 2016.
“I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016,” Ryan said in a phone interview, noting that he is “at peace” with the decision he made “weeks ago” to forgo a bid for the White House.
“It is amazing the amount of encouragement I have gotten from people – from friends and supporters – but I feel like I am in a position to make a big difference where I am and I want to do that,” he said.
The nine-term congressman believes he can make that “big difference” in his new role as chairman of the influential House Ways and Means Committee rather than as a presidential contender.
Indeed, Ryan now controls the committee that control the purse strings. He’s also in a strong position to run for US Senate in the state that gave us Ron Johnson and has repeatedly backed Scott Walker.
What will be interesting to see is who Ryan backs instead. He has said that he’ll support former running mate Mitt Romney should the former Massachusetts governor run again. But what if hometown governor Walker jumps in? Could be interesting.