House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday tried to tamp down speculation that Mitt Romney wants him to serve as his running mate, saying the two haven’t discussed the possibility.

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“I haven’t given it enough thought to answer that question. It’s never come up,” Ryan said on NBC’s Today. “The way I look at this is, it’s somebody else’s decision, it’s months from now. I’m busy trying to do my job in Congress.

“So, if we have to cross that bridge, I’ll make a decision then, but I haven’t given it the serious kind of thought, you know, with my family, to give an answer.”

Asked whether he had discussed serving as Romney’s running mate with the former Massachusetts governor, Ryan again said he had not.

Romney “has got to nail down the nomination first, before he can start thinking about those things,” Ryan said, adding that he has no doubt that Romney will win the GOP nod.

The chairman also said he “absolutely” could work with Romney, saying he’s grown to “like him quite a bit.”

“He reminds me of sort of an earnest Upper Midwest person. The way I see Mitt Romney is I believe he has the exact kind of leadership skills we need to get this country out of the mess we’re in, out of the debt crisis we’re in. I think he has the principles, the courage, the skills and I think he’s willing to do what it takes.”

Speculation around Ryan’s vice presidential prospects heated up again last week when The Post’s Philip Rucker wrote about “chemistry” on the stump between Romney and the Wisconsin lawmaker, who endorsed the Republican frontrunner ahead of last week’s Badger State primary. Despite the chatter, a senior aide to Romney called the VP talk “irresponsibly immature.”

On NBC, Ryan also called President Obama’s recent criticism of the Republican budget plan “more petulance than presidential.”

“We’re actually offering solutions to a debt crisis where he isn’t,” Ryan said. “Our existence, and our solutions, point out the fact that he hasn’t offered any solutions to these problems. ”

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