We are now down to a field of 43, if my calculations are correct*.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, told NBC News in an interview Monday that he will not seek the presidency in 2016.
“I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016,” Ryan said in a phone interview, noting that he is “at peace” with the decision he made “weeks ago” to forgo a bid for the White House.
“It is amazing the amount of encouragement I have gotten from people – from friends and supporters – but I feel like I am in a position to make a big difference where I am and I want to do that,” he said.
The nine-term congressman believes he can make that “big difference” in his new role as chairman of the influential House Ways and Means Committee rather than as a presidential contender.
Ryan says he doesn’t know what his former running mate’s decision will be, but that he made his decision over Christmas before news broke about Romney’s ponderings.
Ryan had signaled during his book tour last year that he would support Romney if the 2012 Republican nominee ran again, but he said nothing in Monday’s statement or his interviews about who would win his endorsement for the 2016 race.
Presumably, this opens the door a bit wider for another Wisconsin native with a reputation for revamping entitlements—Gov. Scott Walker— and leaves the unabashed wonk slot open for Gov. Bobby Jindal.
I will miss him, if only for his expert social media trolling abilities, which would have been truly entertaining during a primary or a general.
— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) January 11, 2015
In fairness, Walker seems to have that covered:
— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) January 7, 2015
*They are not.