Published December 20, 2015
Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, one of the party’s young conservative stars, said Monday he won’t run for president in 2016.
The 44-year-old Ryan was the Republican nominee for vice president in 2012. His announcement comes just a few days after his then-presidential running mate, Mitt Romney, said he is considering a 2016 White House bid.
Ryan is the new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes, trade, Social Security and health care.
He said Monday that he wants to focus on his work in Congress and that running the committee will require his undivided attention.
"Our work … over the next few years will be crucial to moving America forward,” Ryan said. "It's clear our country needs a change in direction. And our party has a responsibility to offer a real alternative. So I'm going to do what I can to lay out conservative solutions and to help our nominee lead us to victory."
Ryan, when chairman of the House Budget Committee, became a favorite among conservatives for developing detailed plans for reining in federal spending.
However, those plans have also made him a villain among many Democrats and liberal groups.
The Democratic National Committee said after Ryan’s announcement that he might be out of the running but his policy ideas live with such 2016 GOP White House hopefuls as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
“Even as Ryan removes himself from the primary race, the dangerous ideas in his budget plan will live on through each of the other potential GOP 2016 candidates,” the group said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.