Ryan to Iowa as he keeps 2016 'options open'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Paul Ryan's heading back to Iowa.
And he's telling CNN that he's keeping his "options open" about a presidential run.
The Iowa Republican Party announced Wednesday that the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee will headline the party's major "Lincoln Dinner" on April 11 in Cedar Rapids.
Iowa's caucuses kick off the presidential caucus and primary calendar, and any visit to the state by a potential White House contender sets off alarm bells with the national political press corps.
The move by the eight-term congressman from Wisconsin will only fuel more speculation that he's seriously considering a run for the White House in 2016.
Ryan was last in Iowa in November to headline a birthday party and fundraiser for longtime Hawkeye State Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who's up for re-election this year.
"As our party's nominee in 2012, Paul Ryan brought a tremendous amount of new energy to our ticket," said Republican Party of Iowa Chairman A.J. Spiker. "As a congressman he's created a conversation about the budget that most in Washington are unwilling to have, and he's a proven leader armed with solutions to expand opportunity for all Americans."
Asked Wednesday on CNN's "New Day" if he's considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination, Ryan said: "I'll get to that stuff later."
"I'm keeping my options open and I've decided that after this election, because we're in the majority here, I have responsibilities in the House of Representatives. I'm going to focus on those responsibilities, and after this session Janna (his wife) and I will sit down and give a really good hard look at this. Because we are keeping our options open and I'll figure that out later," Ryan told CNN anchor Kate Bolduan.