Sunday, February 17, 2013

Paul Ryan doesn't want to talk about 2016 yet, but Rand Paul is more than happy to

Posted By on Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM

ABCs Jonathan Karl
  • ABC's Jonathan Karl
One of the most annoying things about political reporting is how much is focused on elections, and not the public policy that our lawmakers are actually responsible for crafting that can affect our lives and is the whole point of being elected in the first place.

That's why I've strived not to duplicate those same excesses on this blog. On Sunday morning Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan basically laughed in the face of ABC's Jonathan Karl Sunday morning on ABC's This Week when asked if he was or wasn't intending to run for president in 2016.

"Will I or won't I? I don't know. I literally do not know the answer to these questions about what is the best role for me to play to fix these problems for our country in the future.

The point is I don't know the answer because I'm just not putting a great deal of thought into it. I'm not foreclosing any opportunity. I may or a I may not. I just don't know because right now we just had an election. We've got jobs to do."

Karl began his question by referencing a recent story in Politico that reported that in fact, Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, has already decided not to run in 2016, but won't declare that officially for awhile because he'd lose leverage with the media. The uber inside political Web site reported:

“Paul will never say he’s not running for president, because the constant speculation carries too many advantages,” said the longtime friend. “He’ll keep answering the question in a way that will keep nosey political reporters interested. He’s trying to be politically smart, without having anyone piece it together.”

To which Ryan responded on Sunday morning to ABC's Karl that such reporting was "par for the course in Washington these days," before gently criticizing Karl for even worrying about something like that while Congress deals (or doesn't, considering they're now on a week long break) with the budget sequester, which is scheduled to hit in less than two weeks.

RYAN:What bothers me is this permanent campaign the president has us in. We need to start thinking about doing our jobs after these elections than thinking about the next election.

KARL: All right.

RYAN: That's the problem we have in Washington.

So that ends such talk this Sunday, right? Not exactly.

At the same time Ryan was deflecting presidential inquires on ABC, Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul was over on Fox News Sunday being asked the same question, but he appeared to be excited about that possibility when asked by Chris Wallace. Paul said that he thinks the country is ready for the "Libertarian-Republican narrative" as a contrast to the conventional GOP message.

"We're becoming less and less of a national party because we don't win on the West Coast, we don't win in New England, we really struggle all around the Great Lakes. I really think people want a party that's a little bit less aggressive on foreign policy, still believes in a strong national defense but less aggressive. The young people want politicians who don't want to put them in jail for 20 years for a non-violent drug possession charge. So they want a little different face."

When asked by Wallace if that meant he was running in 2016, Paul laughed and said he wouldn't be making any decision until 2014.

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