Mitt Romney’s former running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, won’t be running for president in 2016 if the former Massachusetts governor runs again, the Wisconsin Republican said on Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t if he were. I would support Mitt. If he were to run, I would not,” Ryan told HuffPost Live. “But I don’t even know if I’m going to either myself. That’s something I’m going to decide in 2015.”
Ryan is widely considered a likely 2016 candidate—he recently released a book outlining what he sees as the future of the country—but he’s repeatedly made comments saying he thinks Romney was and still is the best choice for the country.
“I think a lot of people, especially on our side of the aisle—I am one of those, by the way—think he would be a fantastic candidate. I would like to see him run again, but I think he’s pretty clear that it’s definitely not his intention. He’s not trying to start this buzz, he’s not trying to mount another comeback,” Ryan said.
Romney himself has been increasingly hinting that a 2016 campaign—initially something he flatly ruled out—isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
“We’ll see what happens,” Romney says in The New York Times Magazine this week when asked about a possible 2016 campaign; on a radio program recently, he said if everyone in the party came together and asked him to run, he’d consider it. Romney lost his presidential bid to President Barack Obama by a substantial margin – four points – in the 2012 race, earning 47.2% of the popular vote to Obama’s 51.1%.
The Republican field is devoid of any clear 2016 frontrunners, though everyone from Rand Paul to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have hinted about throwing their hats in the ring. On the left, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is widely expected to easily secure the Democratic nomination, should she run.