Does Paul Ryan’s own “way forward” include a run for the White House?

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- "The Way Forward." That's the title of Congressman Paul Ryan's new book. It outlines his vision for the country. But on Thursday, August 21st, FOX6 News asked Ryan about his own "way forward" -- and if that includes a run for the White House.

Ryan's new book blends his personal story with his policy ideas. He offers ideas on erasing poverty.

"We are 50 years into the war on poverty, trillions spent, we got the highest poverty rate in a generation," said Ryan.

There's also a critique of the Republican Party.

"We're just disagreeing with each other on tactics from time to time," said Ryan.

Ryan answered questions during a luncheon in Milwaukee hosted by the MacIver Institute. A book is one of the traditional steps in a presidential campaign. So FOX6 News asked him if he's more drawn to policy or politics.

"Do you think you could be more effective as Chairman of Ways and Means or Speaker of the House than spending two years at pancake breakfasts and going to state fairs?" asked Mike Lowe.

"Well, I like pancakes -- but beside the fact -- I don't know what I'm going to do in 2016," said Ryan.

Part of Ryan's book examines his experience on the campaign trail as the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012.

"I learned a lot from being on a national ticket, and I also learned about what it takes to win national elections, and that's one of the reasons I wrote this book, to talk about an agenda that I think a majority of Americans can support to get our country back on the right track," said Ryan.

This year, Ryan is running again for Congress against Democrat Rob Zerban -- who offered his own critique of Ryan's book.

"A lot of it is the same old ideas they had from the 2012 election cycle, that doesn't provide a good way forward for really anybody," said Zerban.

Because of that 2012 experience as Mitt Romney's running mate and his reputation as a master of policy, Ryan is frequently mentioned by national pundits as a serious contender for the presidency in 2016.

"With respect to any future job or any future move, I'm going to make those decisions and cross those bridges when the time comes, and right now, we're in 2014, and that's what I'm focused on right here," said Ryan.

Ryan's book tour takes him to Florida on Friday. In meeting with people around the country, he says he's trying to counter what he calls the caricatures of the Republican Party -- and show voters that the party can be more inclusive.