Report: Paul Ryan mulling White House bid

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Despite his repeated assertions that he’s not going to run for president in 2012, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is “strongly considering” getting in the race, according to a report Tuesday.

The Weekly Standard’s Stephen F. Hayes reported that Ryan, a Republican, is vacationing in Colorado this week, where he is discussing with his family the possibility of a run.

“He’s coming around,” a source told Hayes about Ryan’s thinking.

Ryan, a leader on budget issues, is often mentioned in the same sentence as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a “dream” candidate that GOP donors and activists would like to see join the race.

Karl Rove, the George W. Bush deputy chief of staff, said Monday that he thinks Ryan is taking the prospect seriously.

“I think Chris Christie and Paul Ryan are going to look at it again,” he told Sean Hannity on Fox News. “I’m starting to pick up some sort of vibrations that these kinds of conversations are causing Christie and Ryan to tell the people who are calling them, ‘you know what, I owe it to you, I’ll take a look at it.'”

Just last week, Ryan stoked more speculation when his political action committee, Prosperity PAC, said it will run advertisements in Iowa to defend his proposed “Path to Prosperity” budget.

A Ryan spokesman downplayed the speculation: “While grateful for the continued support and encouragement,” Conor Sweeney told Hayes, “Chairman Ryan has not changed his mind.”

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol has already called on Ryan to run. Just last month Kristol, mentioning Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, said “Ryan–Rubio or Rubio–Ryan would be a very strong ticket.”