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Rumors of Ryan campaign for White House remain untrue

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
August 17, 2011
— Paul Ryan is not considering a run for president, despite a flurry of speculation to the contrary Tuesday.

That's the word from the Janesville Republican's spokesman, Kevin Seifert.


Seifert acknowledged that the 1st District congressman has heard from people who want him to run, but Ryan's answer is the same as it has been for several years: No.


"He appreciates the encouragement and support. I think it's one thing to speculate, but his mind hasn't changed," Seifert told the Gazette.


An interview with Milwaukee radio talk show host Charlie Sykes fueled speculation. Ryan apparently signaled to Sykes that he is not pleased with how Republican presidential candidates are addressing the country's economic future, which Ryan sees as the top issue of the day.


Seifert downplayed that, saying all of the GOP candidates have endorsed Ryan's ideas.


Seifert said Ryan would like to see a candidate emerge "who is capable of solving the big fiscal issues," and he hopes that more will be said about reforming Medicare and Medicaid as the campaign unfolds.


Ryan believes "there has to be a clear contrast between the president and whoever the (Republican) nominee is," Seifert added.


The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, posted an article on its website Tuesday citing unnamed Republican sources who said Ryan was edging closer to a presidential bid.


The Weekly Standard said Ryan is "strongly considering a run for president" and "has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months."


Seifert countered with a few of Ryan's past statements to reporters' questions about a presidential bid, including Fox News' Chris Wallace, who on Aug. 7 asked under what circumstances Ryan might run.


"My answer is still no," Ryan replied. "My answer is still the same as it always has been the last time you asked me."


"He's hearing from individuals who would like him to consider it, who would like to see him consider it, but it's not something he wants to do at the end of the day," Seifert said


People can change their minds, it was suggested to Seifert.


"He's not," Seifert replied.



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