The speculation can end: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., issued a statement Monday saying he is not running for president.
"I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party's nomination for President," Ryan said in a statement provided to the Weekly Standard
Last week, the Weekly Standard reported that Ryan was reconsidering a presidential campaign, chatting with advisers and receiving encouragement from high-profile Republican leaders, like Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Ryan has long been seen as one of the party's sharpest policy wonks, and his proposed entitlement reforms in the House Republicans' budget won many admirers on the right.
But despite his growing profile, Ryan doesn't have a national political organization at the ready, and, as a member of the House, would have to overcome high hurdles to be considered a serious presidential contender.
Ryan's departure leaves only a few candidates left as possible late entrances in the field - former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, former New York Ciry mayor Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has also denied any interest in mounting a race.
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