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Ryan 2012? Rep’s Office Tries to Quell Rumor He Could Still Enter Race

“He’s coming around" vs. "Chairman Ryan has not changed his mind"

Rick Perry isn't the only politician making waves this week. GOP superstar Paul Ryan, who oversees the House Budget Committee, is causing quite a stir, too. Not for anything controversial he's said, but because there's now a report that he could enter the 2012 presidential race. A report his office is trying to downplay.

According to The Weekly Standard, Ryan has been meeting in private to discuss the idea of entering the fray:

Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is strongly considering a run for president. Ryan, who has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months, is on vacation in Colorado discussing a prospective run with his family. Ryan’s concerns about the effects of a presidential campaign – and perhaps a presidency – on his family have been his primary focus as he thinks through his political future.

“He’s coming around,” says a Republican source close to Ryan, who has been urging the 41-year-old to run.

“With Paul, it’s more about obligation than opportunity,” says another Wisconsin Republican. “He is determined to have the 2012 election be about the big things. If that means he has to run, he’s open to it.”

The theory gained steam when Ryan appeared on local radio with conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes. When asked if he was pleased with the GOP field and if the current candidates can articulate the big issues, Ryan responded: "We’ll see. I didn’t see it last night. I haven’t seen it to date. We’ll see. People’s campaigns evolve – they get better. So we’ll see.”

Ryan's office, however, worked hard on Tuesday to squash the rumors.

“While grateful for the continued support and encouragement, Chairman Ryan has not changed his mind," Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert told National Journal.

But Ryan's isn't the only name being thrown around. Last night, Karl Rove speculated that Chris Christie -- who has fended off rumors for almost a year about running -- could consider getting in the race, too. Rove described a recent dinner that supporters had with Christie and an exchange that took place after that could have Christie reconsidering (at about 2:00 minutes below):

One last thing…
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