Paul Ryan Not Dropping Out of Re-Election Bid as His Opponent's Note Claims

Paul Ryan is staying in his House race despite what his opponent's cheeky E-mail claims.

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Republican vice president candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks in Swanton, Ohio, in this photo from Oct. 8, 2012.
Republican vice president candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks in Swanton, Ohio, in this photo from Oct. 8, 2012.

GOP vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan is running two races right now. But according to his Democratic competitor back in Wisconsin, not for long.

Opponent Rob Zerban's campaign sent out a sarcastic and cheeky E-mail blast to supporters Wednesday stating that "we're confident [Ryan] will drop out of the race any day now."

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"Rob Zerban is pleased to hear Congressman Ryan agree with him that no House member should serve more than six terms in Congress," Al Benninghoff, Zerban's campaign manager, said. "Given that Ryan has now served seven terms in Congress totaling 14 years, we're confident he will drop out of the race any day now. But after considering Ryan's troubling pattern of dishonesty...perhaps we are jumping the gun."

It was a claim the Ryan camp quickly squashed.

"The Zerban campaign continues to play fast and loose with the truth," Ryan's campaign manager Kevin Seifert says. "This is the latest sign of desperation from a campaign that is trailing badly, even according to their own polls."

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Campaign rules allow Ryan to run for both the White House and Congress simultaneously. And in Wisconsin's 1st, all signs point to a victory for the powerful chairman of the House Budget Committee. The policy wonk is well known and has four times the amount of campaign cash on hand as his opponent.

The Zerban campaign's latest internal poll even shows Ryan up 8 points and just to be safe, Ryan's campaign is running television ads in the district.

So why joke he was ever giving up?

Benninghoff says that he's tired of the national media writing the race off as a Ryan "gimme."

"That is not accurate and as a resourceful campaign does, we have to draw attention to what is going on. So our sarcastic tongue and cheek press release was our way of doing that," Benninghoff says.

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  • Lauren Fox is a political reporter for U.S. News and World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at lfox@usnews.com.