Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk Republicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Wis.) stressed that he won't run for president in 2012, but left open the door to being a vice presidential candidate.

Ryan, one of the top House GOP lawmakers who serves as the ranking member of the Budget Committee, said he would not run for president this next cycle.

"There’s no way I am running for president in 2012," the Wisconsin Republican told the New York Times Magazine in a Q&A feature. "My head is not that big, and my kids are too small."

Still, Ryan is seen as one of the rising stars of the GOP with ambitions to move beyond his Budget post. During a brief period after the 2008 elections, Ryan considered a run for House leadership, including a potential challenge to Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk With Ryan out, let’s blow up the process for selecting the next Speaker Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election MORE (R-Ohio).

To that end, the 40-year-old congressman was far less Shermaneque about the prospects of serving as a the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2012.

"I’d cross that bridge if we ever come to it," Ryan said when asked if he would hypothetically fill out the ticket if former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) were to win the Republican presidential nomination.