Paul Ryan not running for president in 2016

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan is passing on a run for the presidency in 2016, saying his work as Ways and Means chair deserves his undivided attention.

Insiders have speculated for weeks that Ryan would not run after taking over as chair of the Ways and Means Committee, where he will have the opportunity to shape national debate on issues that range from the tax code to Social Security.

"It's clear our country needs a change in direction. And our party has a responsibility to offer a real alternative," Ryan said in a statement. "So I'm going to do what I can to lay out conservative solutions and to help our nominee lead us to victory."

Ryan told NBC News that he made the decision weeks ago and was at peace with it. Ryan, who turns 45 later this month, did not rule out a future bid in the interview and declined to endorse anyone.
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