Paul Ryan stirs 2016 chatter with trip to Iowa

Greg Nash

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanThe Trail 2016: The fallout Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears Lawmakers clash over race claims in Flint aid delay MORE will headline the Iowa GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner next month, fueling speculation the Wisconsin Republican might be gearing up for a 2016 presidential bid.

Tickets to the April 11 event in Cedar Rapids range between $75 and $1000, and benefit the state Republican Party.

It's not the first trip this year to an early primary state for the former Republican vice presidential nominee.

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In January, Ryan visited New Hampshire to headline a fundraiser for former Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), who is seeking to win back the seat he lost in 2012.

During an interview that month with CNBC's "Squawk Box," Ryan would not explicitly rule out a presidential bid.

“Look, [I’ve] got an important job to do; we’re in the majority in the House — we’ve got to make this divided government work, as uncomfortable as it can be, and then after this session, I’m going to keep my options open and figure it out then,” Ryan said.

A McClatchy/Marist poll surveying Republican voters about the potential primary field found Ryan in the middle of the pack.

While the Wisconsin lawmaker drew 8 percent support, he trailed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 15 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 13 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) at 12 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 11 percent.

Ryan did lead Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who drew 7 percent, and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at 5 percent. Both senators have appeared frequently in early voting states.