Paul Ryan Discusses 2016 Political Ambitions With Jon Karl on ABCs This Week

(Photo: AP)

Wisconsin representative and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) appeared on ABC’s ‘This Week’ Sunday, where he discussed the sequester, the national debt, and the state of the country and its leadership.

He also fielded a question about his interest in running for higher office in 2016.

Real Clear Politics has the transcript:

JON KARL, ABC NEWS: …This [Politico] quote caught my eye: “Paul will never say he’s not running for president because the constant speculation carries too many advantages, said a longtime friend. He will keep answering the questions in a way that will keep nosy political reporters interested…”

Now, congressman at risk of being a nosy political reporter here, is it true, are you considerably less likely now to run for president in 2016?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WIS.): Actually, Jonathan, you’ve known me a long time and the one thing you know about me is I don’t play that game. I don’t talk like that. So when you see these articles that are really not accurate, that’s par for the course in Washington these days.

The point is this, I think the most important thing for me to do is do my job representing the first district of Wisconsin, trying to prevent a debt crisis, helping get a solution to the economy, to jobs, to getting our deficit and debt under control.

That it me is my first priority. That’s what I’m focused on. Will I or won’t I? I don’t know. I literally do not know the answer to these questions about what is the best role for me to play to fix these problems for our country in the future.

The point is I don’t know the answer because I’m just not putting a great deal of thought into it. I’m not foreclosing any opportunity. I may or a I may not. I just don’t know because right now we just had an election. We’ve got jobs to do.  [Emphasis added]

Ryan concluded with a statement on how it seems like election season never ends with the current administration.

“What bothers me is this permanent campaign the president has us in,” he said.  “We need to start thinking about doing our jobs after these elections than thinking about the next election.”

You can watch the entire interview via ABC News (2016 remarks around 8:40):

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