Ryan says no regrets over presidential decision
September 1st, 2011
05:21 PM ET
11 years ago

Ryan says no regrets over presidential decision

Janesville, Wisconsin (CNN) - House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan was on his annual summer camping trip with his family last month and then the quiet of the woods was interrupted.

"All of these stories started exploding saying whether I was going to run for President or not," the Republican congressman told CNN in his first television interview since re-affirming his decision he would not seek his party's presidential nomination.

"A lot of people tried to convince me I should jump in this race. As you can tell the race has not formed fully yet. My answer really hadn't changed. If I really wanted to run for president I would have done it months ago," he said citing his young children as a key factor against jumping in.

"I think any job in politics you can have balance with your family, but I am not so sure you can do that with this particular job. And so I just couldn't get over that, and when other people want you to run for President more badly than you yourself do I think that kind of says something," he said.

He has voiced concern previously about the Republican candidates not emphasizing enough his core issues of deficit control and the need to tackle the nation's mounting debt. He told CNN he is confident they will come to adequately address these issues.

"People are worried that this election is not going to be cast in the way it ought to be and that is why people have asked me to get, in but I think it will be. I do. I really do," he said. "It is getting there I think."

Ryan confirmed he and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who also has repeatedly said he will not seek the Republican nomination, spoke this summer about the presidential sweepstakes.

"We did talk a couple of times. We know each other, and we have talked a little bit over the phone just about the state of the country." He declined to talk details but said he would like to see Christie run.

Ryan said he thinks there is enough time for someone else to enter the race.

"It is not too late– look it is 2011 still. The election is in 2012. You know Iowa is not until January. So there is time. So I don't think I'd say this late date. I think you saw the first tier of candidates. Now you see another tier of candidates, and I don't see this as too late."

So far, he said he has not been contacted by the current contenders seeking his endorsement and added right now he doesn't have a favorite among them.

He told CNN the fight for his party's nomination fight should not automatically follow precedent.

"We have had a history in this party of kind of giving it to the next person in line. That is not the kind of nomination we need to have. This needs to be an election as great as the problems that we have which is it needs to be a referendum election on the American idea."

Asked if he would consider taking the vice presidential nomination of his party if offered he was non-committal.

"It is something that is out of my control. It is somebody else's decision, and right now I have decided whether it is Senate or president I think I can make a big difference for people in Wisconsin, for my kids, for my fellow countrymen as chairman of the House Budget Committee which has a big role in all of this."

Earlier this year he decided not to seek the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl.

Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Governor Perry should stop the campaigning and help Texas cattlemen get that donated Wisconsin hay to their drought stricken Texas ranches. Instead of trying to help with the transportation cost of $3000 to help get that northern donated hay down there, he is out telling people why there should be no government help for Americans.

    September 1, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Clwyd

    From what we told him at his town hall meeting he may not be able to keep his seat let alone run for president! Too much tea!

    September 1, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ryan may have difficulty retaining his cushy government job.

    September 1, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Good decision by Ryan, he wouldn't have won anyway, now we just need office.

    September 1, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Ed Texas

    Ryan, who fought to kill medicare and medicaid through his ill prepared tax plan, probably saw the writing on the wall. With all the negative feelings towards the GOP in his state, he'll be lucky to get re-eleted in his WI congressional district in 2012.

    September 1, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Republican Robber Baron

    Good luck. Just go ahead and admit you want to destroy Medicare and Social Security to pay for even more tax cuts for the wealthy. At least be honest about it like Ron Paul. I guess that's why you ain't running.

    September 1, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. one voice

    This radical would never have a chance being President. He will get His on judgement day!!!

    September 1, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. one voice

    Ryan is gone come 2012 and Scott Walker will be recalled. The sleeping giant is pissed.

    September 1, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Desmond in Canada

    The smart possible candidates for the GOP nomination, like Ryan, know that they do not stand a snow flake's chance in hell of becoming President against Obama. Only those who discount the intelligence of the people of the USA, and of the rest of the world incidentally, entertain illusions of grandeur by trying to get the GOP nomination. But then, you US citizens DID choose Bush Jr. – twice! So would-be GOP nominees are counting on fooling you – again!

    September 1, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. SecedingfromTexas

    @Wire Palladin, S,F
    I did not know Wisconsin offered hay to Texas farmers. You are absolutely right, but Guv Goodhair does not care,
    obviously. Will look it up. Thank you.

    September 1, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. logic in LA

    I guess there is a shortage of Republican candidates that no nothing about economics running for the ill-informed to chose from. Conservatives- cut your spending on housing, healthcare, education and food and then take a 20% pay cut. Once you've learned how to do that on your own, then you can ask the rest of us to do it on a federal level.
    That is Ryan's proposal. That is the Tea Party mentality.
    Oh i forgot- if you're wealthy- give yourself a raise and forget the cuts!

    September 1, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    I guess he's not as stupid as he appears. He knows just as we know NO REPUBLICAN IS GOING TO WIN so it's better to keep his day job.

    September 1, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Ben Dover

    No doubt it was written in the TEA leaves.

    September 1, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. The Tantrum Party

    Somebody get this dolt out of Wisconsin and let him help ruin another state. I could only imagine how far into the ground he could run this country if he were elected president ...

    September 1, 2011 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  15. Terry Gloege

    I agree with Ed Texas, he'll be lucky to keep his house seat next time around. Don't let door hit you in the butt on the way out.

    September 1, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. Bill

    This goof is going to have a tough time holding on to seat as it is. Presidential timber – I think not.

    September 1, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. NoTags

    Hey Paul, any regrets over your $350 a bottle wine?

    September 1, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  18. thomas

    House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan was on his annual summer camping trip with his family last month and then the quiet of the woods was interrupted.

    I'm glad he found serenity , contemplation and retrospect in the environment of our natural forests .
    A true environmentalist !

    September 1, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |