Sources close to Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin tell National Review Online that the Budget Committee chairman considered a variety of factors this summer as he mulled a late-entry presidential campaign. This afternoon, he closed the door on a 2012 bid, choosing to remain in the House. “I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation,” he said in a statement. “While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for president.” Here are five reasons cited by Ryan’s circle that explain his decision.
He’d rather frame the debate. Ryan’s top priority for the 2012 presidential race has always been to help Republicans topple President Obama. He has repeatedly called the 2012 contest a “realignment election” in which the fate of both parties will be shaped for a generation. After authoring the House Republicans’ budget earlier this year, which drew him into the national spotlight, he felt comfortable making the national case for conservative reform. Ryan had hoped that Indiana governor Mitch Daniels would run. But that didn’t happen, and, after he saw the tepid response to his budget from leading GOP presidential contenders, Ryan began to consider making a run of his own in order to force an “adult conversation” about the looming debt crisis.
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