Ryan said "there's an upside to losing, which is a reconnection with my family," and he described his kids as "completely resilient" after the loss.
"Bad news: dad lost; the good news: they get to stay at the same school," Ryan said. "That was the upside of all this. The downside is we didn't win the election that we really wanted to win."
"Just this last weekend, I got to go to both my boys' basketball games, I got to go to two of my daughter's volleyball games," he said. "Next weekend is opening weekend for deer season and I'm taking my daughter hunting, and that's what I'm looking forward to most right now."
After House Speaker John Boehner characterized Ryan's role going forward as a "policy wonk," Ryan said he welcomes the speaker's portrayal "as a great compliment" and pointed to a decentralized structure of leadership within the GOP ranks, including governors outside of Congress, as confirmation that there is room for leaders in the Republican Party.
"I've always been one of the House policy wonks," Ryan laughed. "I don't think that we have one person who's a leader. We shouldn't have just one person that's a leader of the Republican Party. It's decentralized. We have a lot of great talent in this party. We have a lot of talented people that are gonna be offering their ideas."
Going forward in the lame duck session, Ryan said he envisions he will "continue to be a champion of ideas" as he looks for ways to create economic growth.
"How we have an inclusive party that shows how you get people back to work, how we tackle our country's fiscal challenges, how we make sure we have a strong military, how we prevent our healthcare system from failing?" Ryan wondered. "These are the concerns I have right now."
So will Paul Ryan run for president in 2016?
"Aren't you tired of presidential politics? I know I am," he said with a laugh. "Let's just deal with one thing at a time. I've got to think people are a little sick of hearing about presidential speculation after we just finished this presidential campaign."