Paul Ryan on 2016: ‘I’ve decided not to decide’

Paul Ryan (AP Photo) Paul Ryan (AP)

Is Paul Ryan running for president in 2016? "I've decided not to decide," the Wisconsin congressman told the Wisconsin State Journal on Wednesday.

Ryan voted for the debt deal that averted the "fiscal cliff" on New Year's Day, a decision that aligns him with establishment Republicans and could hurt him with his party's base. 

“If you think something needs to pass, then, you know, have the guts to vote for it, and face the music, endure the criticism you will inevitably get," he told conservative radio host Charlie Sykes. 

But Ryan bucked the establishment in voting against a Hurricane Sandy aid package, saying pork needed to be taken out of the package and that the flood insurance program needed to be reformed. 

Both votes could come up in a 2016 primary. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio could distinguish himself from Ryan by highlighting his vote against the "fiscal cliff" deal. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has already made clear what he thinks of Republicans who didn't support Sandy aid, and would almost certainly bring it up again if he runs. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · January 10, 2013