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Paul Ryan as GOP vice presidential candidate? He doesn't say no

GOP budget-meister and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin gave a nondenial when asked Thursday if he's interested in being the vice presidential candidate on the 2012 Republican ticket.

Michael Bonfigli / The Christian Science Monitor
Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin speaking at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin gave a nondenial Thursday when asked whether he is interested in being the vice presidential candidate on the 2012 Republican ticket.

Representative Ryan is among the GOP’s most prominent members of Congress, given his role formulating the Republican response to President Obama’s latest budget proposal. At a Monitor-hosted breakfast meeting with reporters Thursday, Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, called the Obama administration’s 2013 budget “extremely disappointing” in that it proposed a “paltry” $400 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years, after accounting “gimmicks and tricks” are stripped away.

About running for vice president, Ryan said that “is somebody else’s decision. It is a long time from now. It is kind of like a bolt of lightning striking you. So what is the point of thinking about that?” His nondenial of interest continued, “I am really busy.... We are in budget season, so I am just consumed with the budget stuff. I would cross that bridge when I got to it, if it ever came. So I really just don’t know, because I don’t think about it.”

Ryan, who was elected to Congress in 1998 at age 28, hails from an influential swing state and has proven his ability to get elected in a district that voted in national presidential elections for Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. “I don’t come from the ruby red area of America,” Ryan said. 

The authoritative "Almanac of American Politics" writes that Ryan "is regarded as an intellectual leader in the GOP for his unrivaled influence on fiscal matters."

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