U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said Thursday he would love to see Mitt Romney run again for president and teased the GOP’s former nominee at one point that the “third time’s the charm.”

Aug. 21, 2014: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, listens to the response of his former vice-presidential running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., during an interview about Ryan's new book.AP
Aug. 21, 2014: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, listens to the response of his former vice-presidential running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., during an interview about Ryan’s new book.AP

Appearing with Ryan at a public event for the first time since their ticket lost two years ago, Romney offered his own good-humored praise by saying that Ryan “wouldn’t be a bad president” himself.

Ryan, R-Wis., has said he will wait until after the midterm elections to decide whether to pursue his own presidential campaign in 2016. Romney has repeatedly denied any plans for another campaign for president. He failed to win the nomination in 2008 and then lost the election to President Barack Obama in 2012.

Romney interviewed Ryan about his new book, “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea,” on the brink of the fall election season. Republicans are driving for the six-seat gain required to grab the Senate majority. Success would put the GOP in control of Congress and dramatically shape the final two years of Obama’s term.

They took turns criticizing Obama’s record on domestic issues, including the economy, health care and immigration, with Ryan warning that Obama will “poison the well” on immigration compromise if he takes any unilateral action. Romney said Obama sent a message to Russia when he did not act in Syria and that there has been “an explosion of very bad things in the world” since then.

Romney said Obama’s foreign policy is “based on his belief that everyone has the same interests” while he himself believes that some world leaders “want to dominate and some are fundamentally evil.”

They also blamed Obama and the Democratic-led Senate for doing too little to reach out to Republicans and to act on important issues.

“If people want to actually see action in this country and dealing with problems from education to health care, immigration to our fiscal needs … they’re going to have to vote for Republican senators and … a Republican president, as well,” Romney said.