Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan Beg Each Other to Run for President

Romney and Ryan ran together in 2012. Romney and Ryan ran together in 2012. spirit of america/Shutterstock.com file photo

You run. No, you run.

Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan sat down for their first joint interview since losing the 2012 presidential race on Thursday night, and after the customary round of bashing President Obama, Megyn Kelly of Fox News got down to the key question of the moment: Which of them is going to run for president in 2016?

What followed was some awkward laughter and a presidential game of chicken.

RYAN: "I'll give it to him."

ROMNEY: "He's very generous, but I had my turn. It's his turn now."

RYAN: "He should do it."

The mutual fawning continued after the interview at an event afterward in Chicago,where according to the Associated Press, Ryan teased Romney, who has twice run for the White House, that "the third time's the charm."

Romney returned the compliment by saying his former running mate "wouldn't be a bad president" himself. Earlier this week, Ryan joked to Bloomberg Television that if Romney tried again, "I'd drive his bus if he asked me to." 

In reality, neither of the two men is likely to run in 2016.

Romney has settled into a role of elder G.O.P. statesman since his loss to Obama, and "third time's the charm" has never really applied to presidential campaigns, unless your name is Ronald Reagan.

Ryan, the House Republican budget chief, is considering a bid next time around, and he now out on tour promoting a new book that reads suspiciously like a campaign-style memoir. But he has also made clear that he is eager to take on the powerful-but-taxing job of chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee next year, andcolleagues doubt that the 44-year-old father of three young children will jump into the race.

Ryan heaps praise on Romney in his new book, The Way Forward, but his push for Republicans to reach out to new voters and preach beyond the choir is an implicit critique of Romney's 2012 campaign, which made little headway with young or minority voters.

The two running mates capped off their reunion with, what else, an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video. Ryan dumped the water on Romney, who in typical Romney fashion, barely reacted. "It is cold," he said, before challenging his wife Ann and his formerSaturday Night Live impersonator, Jason Sudeikis.

You can watch the full Fox News Interview below. It starts about 2 minutes in.

(Top image via spirit of america / Shutterstock.com)

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