Washington (CNN) – Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin wasted no time on Tuesday swatting away a question about whether the GOP's 2016 presidential nominee needed to be a governor.
"No," Ryan said quickly. "Next question."
He did, after a few laughs, continue: "The resume is not as important to me as the person, as the quality of their ideas, as their track record of reform."
The question, asked by The Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot during a public interview at the publication's CEO Council in Washington, included mentions of three Republican governors: Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio.
"I would like to make sure we get a person who is a standard bearer who can go the distance," Ryan said. "I am familiar with what going the distance means, and it means a lot. It is not easy to do."
Ryan, his party's nominee for vice president in 2012, said he wants someone who is going to "be strong on principles, inclusive on ideas" and someone who will show people "the full spectrum of conservatism."
Ryan said that does not, necessarily, have to be a Republican governor.
Congress' approval rating reached a new low last week when a Gallup poll found only 9% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. The rating is the lowest congressional approval rating in the 39 years Gallup has asked the question.
With an eye on 2016's presidential race, some Republican politicians and political operatives have said nominating a Republican governor would be better than nominating a member of an unpopular Congress.
"I think it's got to be an outsider," said Walker, a Republican governor and someone rumored to be a possible 2016 nominee. "I think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominee should either be a former or current governor, people who have done successful things in their states, who have taken on big reforms, who are ready to move America forward."
Likewise, the Republican Governors Association, a group dedicated to helping elect Republican state executives, have touted a video that states red-state governors "are driving America's comeback."
Republicans only looking to governors in 2016 would be bad news to Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and someone who has not shied away from saying he is entertaining the idea of running in 2016.
In front of the CEOs assembled by the Journal, however, Ryan said he was going to take time with his 2016 decision.
"If I am going to do a job in the majority, as the chairman of the budget committee, as a leader in my party, trying to fix these current problems, I cannot let my mind be clouded with personal ambition," Ryan said. "I am going to make those decisions later. Right now, I have a job to do on behalf of the people who elected me."
During the event, Ryan also weighed in on the ongoing budget negotiations between him and his Democratic counterpart in the Senate, Rep. Patty Murray of Washington.
Ryan said that he and Murray are closer to a budget deal now than they were when they started negotiations after the government shutdown earlier this year. If Murray and Ryan are unable to come to a deal, the possibility of another partial government shutdown would go up.
Ryan, however, said he was comfortable in saying there would not be another government shutdown.
"We will not have a government shutdown," Ryan said. "We will keep the government funding at the current level if need be."