Wisconsin's Ryan ponders run for White House in 2016
WASHINGTON — Paul Ryan was No. 2 on the Republicans' presidential ballot in 2012, and the Wisconsin congressman is thinking about whether he'll try to move to the top of his party's ticket in 2016.
When asked on Sunday about the possibility of running, Ryan said he and his family will “take very seriously and weigh” the decision next year. Ryan has said he is not eager to spend even more time away from his small Wisconsin hometown where he and his wife, Janna, have raised their family.
Ryan told CBS' “Face the Nation” his new book is designed to unify conservatives about tackling the nation's most critical problems.
Ryan said the 2012 ticket lost for many reasons, but he wishes that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would run again.
Meanwhile, Ryan said that he didn't voice his opposition to the government shutdown in 2013 because he wanted to ensure there was “party unity.”
“I don't think it was constructive for conservatives to be carping at each other. At the same time, the purpose of that passage is to try and unify our party. I don't think we can succeed if all we do is criticize and define what we are against,” he said.
Ryan wrote in his book, which came out last week, that he believes the Republican attempt to defund Obamacare by shutting down the government was “a suicide mission” but that too many members of his own party were unwilling to abandon the idea for fear that they would be punished by outside groups aligned with the Tea Party.
He said he didn't believe the strategy was “really legitimate” because a government shutdown cannot stop an entitlement program, not to mention there was no support for the strategy in the Senate.
The point of his book, he said, is “to help design a unified conservative Republican movement that is principled, inclusive and aspirational so that we can win a majority of Americans' votes to save this country from what I believe is going down the wrong track.”
Ryan laughed when asked whether he would support Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas or Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, before he said he would support either of them if they become the Republican nominee.
“I think there are going to be a lot of other people in this race,” he said. “And what I'm trying to articulate with this book is a kind of conservatism inspired by my mentor Jack Kemp, people like Ronald Reagan, that's inclusive, that's aspirational, that's principled, that also has a strong national defense and a foreign policy that keeps us prosperous and secure.”