UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 22: So much for the rumors of a Paul Ryan 2012 run.
The Weekly Standard, which earlier this month reported that the Wisconsin Republican was seriously considering jumping into the GOP nominating contest, reports that Ryan has decided against a run once and for all.
"While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party's nomination for President," Ryan told the magazine.
While it is unclear how seriously Ryan was considering a 2012 bid, "the intensity of speculation that he might run is the really interesting thing here — it shows just how badly Republicans want another candidate to enter the race," the Washington Post reports.
Politico notes that Ryan's decision will leave "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – or perhaps, Jeb Bush – as the last, best hope of the establishment Republicans who continue to pine for another option in the 2012 field."
POSTED Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 2:45 p.m.: As we inch closer to September, there is growing speculation that at least one more Republican is going to jump into the presidential race: Paul Ryan.
(Admit it. You were afraid this was somehow going to turn into another post about Sarah Palin.)
Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who has made his mark in the House advocating for entitlement reform, is considering a run for president, the Weekly Standard reports. A Republican source close to Ryan told the magazine that the congressman is currently on vacation in Colorado where he is weighing the burden of a potential campaign on his family.
In an interview Friday with Charlie Sykes, a Milwaukee talk show host, Ryan remained ambiguous about his intentions to run, marking a shift from his outright denials in the past.
“Looking at the Republican field right now, are you confident that the candidates there are able to articulate the issues of the debt and the deficit and the need to reform entitlements in the way that you want to see done?” Sykes asked.
Ryan sensed what was coming, demanding lightheartedly, "Why did you ask me that?”
“You know exactly why I asked you that question,” Sykes responded.
“I know. We’ll see," Paul said. "I didn’t see it last night," he added, referring to Thursday's GOP debate in Iowa. "I haven’t seen it to date. We’ll see. People’s campaigns evolve—they get better. So we’ll see.”
In another sign Paul could be considering a run seriously, the congressman asked House Speaker John Boehner to leave him off the "supercommittee" created by the recent debt ceiling agreement. Ryan told Fox News last week that he opted against joining the panel because he has plans to overhaul the budget process this fall, but his absence was nonetheless a bit of a shock given his position as chairman of the House budget committee.