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Ryan, Paul Leave Open Possible Presidential Campaigns

In separate television appearances Sunday, two leading conservative lawmakers did nothing to tamp down speculation that they might run for president in 2016.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan, the vice presidential nominee on the losing Republican ticket last November, told ABC’s “This Week” that he was too busy doing his job as Budget Committee chairman to think about his future prospects.

“Will I or won’t I? I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know the answer because I am just not putting a great deal of thought into this.”

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Rand Paul also left open the possibility that he might follow in his father’s footsteps and run for president in the next cycle.

The Republican Party is “doing fine in congressional seats, but we’re becoming less and less of a national party,” the Kentucky Republican told the show’s host, Chris Wallace.

Asked how serious he was about running and whether he would throw his hat in the ring to make point, Paul replied: “I would absolutely not run unless it were to win. Points have been made, and we’ll continue to make points.”

Pressed by Wallace to answer yes or no, Paul responded with a long pause before saying: “We won’t make a decision until 2014.”

Paul told USA Today last week, when asked about his presidential aspirations, “We’re thinking about it.”

In his response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last week, Paul criticized the president as well as his own party for profligate spending. Paul’s father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 without success.

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