Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan said Monday that he will not run for president in 2016, saying he thinks he can have more of an impact at his current post.
The former Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012 announced his decision during an interview with NBC News
"I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016," Ryan said, adding that he made the decision "weeks ago" and that he is "at peace" with the decision.
"It is amazing the amount of encouragement I have gotten from people — from friends and supporters — but I feel like I am in position to make a big difference where I am, and I want to do that," he explained.
He said that not hitting the campaign trail in 2016 will be "bittersweet."
Ryan is beginning his ninth term as congressman and is for the first time heading the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, to which he plans to give his "undivided attention."
If former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Ryan's former running mate, decides to run for president again, the Wisconsin Republican said that "it is no secret that I have always thought Mitt would make a great president."
However, "as for [Romney's] plans in 2016, I don't know what he is ultimately going to do, and the last thing I want to do is get ahead of his own decision-making process," he added.
While Ryan said he would not endorse any candidates at this stage in the process, he said that "absolutely" a Republican can win the White House in the next election cycle.
"I think we've got a number of very capable candidates who have every ability to become president. There are a lot of talented people," he said.
"I think it is critical that our party puts forward bold, conservative ideas and give people a choice," the Wisconsin lawmaker contends.
"I think we have a number of capable leaders who can do that," he added.
Ryan said he will do everything he can to get the Republican nominee elected in 2016, saying he hopes that in his new post in the House he will work to "lay out conservative solutions that will help our nominee lead us to victory."
While the congressman won't make a run for the White House in 2016, he said that as for future election cycles, he will "keep my options open."
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