MANCHESTER, New Hampshire–Congressman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters here that he is still deciding as to whether he will run for president in 2016. “I’m going to look at it after this session. I’m keeping my options opened. Right now, I’m focusing on doing my job,” Ryan said at a fundraiser for former Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) in Manchester on Tuesday night.
Ryan would not elaborate on a timeline, saying he would “worry about those things later on.” Guinta is seeking a second term after losing his seat to Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D-NH) in 2012.
Ryan, who serves as Chairman of the House Budget Committee, explained, “I’m not here for any other reason other than to help Frank Guinta. This guy deserves to come back to Congress. He took tough votes. He’s a courageous man. He knows how to be a fiscal conservative.” He added, “My job as budget chair is trying to bring some fiscal discipline to Washington in this divided government as difficult as it is, but it would be very helpful if we brought people in like Frank to help.”
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, made a trip to New Hampshire on Monday and addressed New Hampshire GOP officials and activists in Concord. Issa insisted he has no presidential aspirations and only was in the New England state to help “shape the debate” for the Republican Party in 2016. He hoped that candidates for the 2016 are asked about their stances on the abuse and expansion of power in the federal government.
“Candidates for presidents have the tendency not to be forced to make a statement about government doing only what its supposed to do and not using and abusing power and that should be part of the 2016 debate,” Issa said.
Referencing the Obama administration’s use of the executive order, Ryan responded to Issa’s remarks, “This administration is becoming increasingly lawless by the day. That’s one of the concerns we have about the Obama administration. They are abusing their authority and re-writing laws that they don’t have the authority to do.”
Ryan went further, “That’s why we in the House are trying to do all this oversight to bring all of this accountability and transparency to this administration, which we think is going outside the confines of the laws that Congress passed. Presidents don’t write laws. Congress writes laws. It’s the legislative branch’s power not the executive branch’s power.”
The Wisconsin GOP’er has had a rocky relationship with grassroots activists in the past year, especially because of his support for immigration reform legislation in the House. Ryan, however, told reporters he is grateful of the activists like the Tea Party that have kept the GOP a fiscally conservative party.
“If it wasn’t for the tea party and the tea party members of the House we would not have passed three budgets in a year that balanced the budget and paid off the debts. I think they’ve done a great service bringing us to become a real fiscal conservative party, which before 2010 I think our party lost its fiscal moorings,” he said. “So I think they’ve done a lot to get us into shape as a true fiscal conservative party. There’s created tension in our party and thats a good thing. You know why? Because we’re debating ideas.”