Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has ruled out a presidential bid in 2012.
"I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation," Ryan said in a statement issued Monday. "While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party's nomination for President. 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 reports that Ryan began seriously considering a bid in late May, when Indiana governor Mitch Daniels dropped out, and had since been consulting with top Republican strategists including Karl Rove and Frank Luntz.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Republican insiders unhappy with the current field of party candidates had urged Ryan to run:
Ryan’s fans within the party see him as a skilled, swing-state politician who can make the party’s best case for attacking the federal debt and overhauling entitlement programs. At the same time, some Democrats have argued that the Medicare changes he's proposing would be a huge liability for a GOP ticket.
Monday wasn't the first time Ryan has tamped down on speculation that he might run. In a June interview with the Journal Sentinel, Ryan cited family and his desire to see through his controversial House budget proposal as reasons not to run. (Ryan chairs the House Budget Committee.) The so-called "Ryan plan" would drastically cut spending and overhaul Medicare.
“I think I’m making a pretty big difference where I am," Ryan told the paper in June. "I started the fight for fiscal conservatism in the House. I don’t want to walk away from it."
Even some Democrats may be disappointed in Ryan's decision. Talking Points Memo reports that the Wisconsin Democratic Party recently put a sarcastic "draft Paul Ryan" petition up on its website.