— -- Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for vice president in 2012, announced today he will not run for president in 2016.
“After giving it a lot of thought, I've decided not to run for president,” Ryan, R-Wisconsin, wrote in a statement. “Our work at the House Ways and Means Committee over the next few years will be crucial to moving America forward, and my job as Chairman deserves undivided attention.”
Earlier this year, Ryan took over what he has repeatedly described as his “dream job” when he seized the gavel at the Ways and Means committee, arguably the House’s most powerful committee post and the pinnacle of Tax and Spending policy.
"It's clear our country needs a change in direction. And our party has a responsibility to offer a real alternative,” Ryan continued in the statement announcing his decision today. “So I'm going to do what I can to lay out conservative solutions and to help our nominee lead us to victory.”
Ryan, an eight-term Republican, could serve three terms as chairman at Ways and Means until 2020, or possibly 2022 if he gets another waiver for a fourth term.
"I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to run. Their words and continued support have been deeply humbling,” Ryan concluded in a statement. “And most of all I want to thank the people of Wisconsin for giving me the opportunity to serve our country."