Does GOP's 2016 nominee need to be a governor? Ryan says no
November 19th, 2013
06:08 PM ET
5 months ago

Does GOP's 2016 nominee need to be a governor? Ryan says no

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."


Filed under: 2016 • Paul Ryan
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Ryan cannot carry his own town in an election, and his popularity with workers is getting worse.

    November 19, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Name carl

    The Gop Tea party are disgraceful. Trying to block any thing president Obama wants. Never seen anything like this how the Tea party GOP DISREPECT president Obama. I will never vote for a Republican ever again.

    November 19, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. rs

    Human would help.

    November 19, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Thomas

    He want's it so bad !

    Paul Ryan / Rick Perry 2016
    "the full spectrum of conservatism."

    November 19, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. Bubba

    The GOP 2016 Candidate does not have to be a Governor, but he/she does need to be sane, and that disqualifies 99% of them.
    The GOP will give in to the pressure from the Lunatic Right, and nominate the unelectable, thus ensuring Hillary's first of two terms as President. I am starting to believe that the GOP is in on the joke.

    November 19, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    How come the GOP always has the worst canadates, oh yea, we are talking about the GOP party of stupid, just look at their canadates, Rubio , Cruz, bland, the quack, Paul , RAGGEN!!!

    November 19, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Ready to move America forward???? That leaves walker and the rest of the GOP OUT!!!!

    November 19, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  8. king

    you know what, what repub governor have ever done our country good. the repub god Reagan, introduced trickle down mentality of the repubs. yes it worked for a while when America focused more on our citizens, and jobs didn't have the means of skipping town for cheaper labor. someone tell me what good is the repubs ideology of giving money to the rich and expecting them to stay here and pay hire wages rather than go to china and make bigger profits with none existing wages, in todays world, and if anyone should bring this question up, the repubs dismiss this as dems socialism and wealth distribution. what kind of kakememe crap is that.

    November 20, 2013 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Poor, SS recipient who has forgotten how important that was in his life after his father's death, lying altar boy.
    You will never be president so you don't have to worry about it. You didn't move the twit's needle one bit and you won out over Christie who they didn't think was a good candidate. Ouch.
    Are you spending Thanksgiving with your family then going to a homeless shelter pretending to wash perfectly clean pots and pans again this year? That, and those ugly exercise photographs, are your legacy.
    So, so sad. NOT

    November 20, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |