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Sarah Palin gives nod to Wisconsin's Paul Ryan as 2012 presidential potential

Speculation has been rife as to whether Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate, will run for President in 2012. Palin answered that question in the affirmative during an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, on February 7. “I would,” she said in answer to his question as to whether she would run. “I would if I believed that was the right thing for our country and for the Palin family. Certainly I would do so.”

But when asked who else in the Republican Party Palin sees as a potential 2012 candidate, Palin talked about Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. [See video below] Ryan, originally from Janesville, represents Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, which includes Kenosha, Racine, and Janesville, all cities that have experienced plant closings and high unemployment rates.

Ryan has been active in providing economic policy leadership within the GOP. The Wisconsin Congressman authored The Patients’ Choice Act, a 2009 Republican health care reform proposal. Last week he introduced his Roadmap for America’s Future, billed as “a bold alternative to Washington’s reckless expansion and growing culture of dependency.

Ryan also received attention when he was singled out by President Obama at the January 29th House GOP Retreat. The President and Ryan engaged in a short exchange about Ryan’s bipartisan proposal with Senator Russ Feingold to give the President the power of a line-item veto. The President also said he had read Ryan’s Roadmap for America and was interested in engaging further with Ryan concerning some of his economic proposals.

Paul Ryan is frequently mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for President. However, when asked by Madison’s Channel 3000’s Mike Gousha in a Sunday morning talk show if he is considering a 2012 run, Ryan said no.

Palin, who resigned her position as governor of Alaska in July of 2009 with just 18 months left of her first term was the keynote speaker at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville on February 6. Her televised conversation with Fox News' Chris Wallace followed that program. The former governor has also recently signed on as a Fox News Contributor. 

Sarah Palin talks about Congressman Paul Ryan during a February 7th Fox News Sunday interview.

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