Congressman Paul Ryan Won’t Seek GOP Presidential Nod

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 22, 2011   |   3:15PM   |   Washington, DC

Congressman Paul Ryan, the pro-life Wisconsin lawmaker known for his in-depth knowledge of economic issues and focus on curbing debt and entitlements, has decided against seeking the GOP presidential nomination.

Ryan’s name has been on the bubble for months and, last week, talk of a potential candidacy rose to its highest levels yet. But, citing family concerns and a desire to stay focused on economic and budget issues in the House, Ryan told The Weekly Standard he won’t run.

“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation,” he said in a statement, according to the conservative newspaper.

“While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President,” he said. ” 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.”

The Weekly Standard said Ryan had no ambition to become president but investigated the idea because so many people came to him asking him to consider running.

Several sources close to Ryan told TWS “they were surprised at how close he came to running. Over the past several weeks, Ryan had talked extensively about running with select Republican Party leaders, GOP strategists, and a tight circle of Wisconsin friends and advisers. In private meetings with fundraisers and conservative movement leaders he expressed skepticism that he could win, and raised concerns about the toll a race would take on his family. But he nonetheless made clear that he was open to running.”

“For Ryan, being president has never been a lifelong ambition. His consideration of a presidential bid came not because of any desire to be president and, in many respects, came in spite of his inclinations against one. Ryan has hoped that he might play the role of Jack Kemp to the next Ronald Reagan,” it added.

Last week, LifeNews political reporter Andrew Bair profiled Ryan and his pro-life record — saying he “maintains a 100% pro-life rating from the National Right to Life Committee.”