Romney names Ryan as running mate

NORFOLK, Va. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tapped Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate on Saturday, turning to the architect of a conservative and intensely controversial long-term budget plan to remake Medicare and cut trillions in federal spending.

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, introduces his vice presidential running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Va.

Romney made his announcement to supporters via a phone app. "Mitt's Choice for VP is Paul Ryan," it said and implored backers to spread the word.

The ticket-mates arranged their first joint appearance later in the morning at a naval museum, the initial stop of a bus tour through four battleground states in as many days.

In a written statement issued a short while later, Romney's campaign said that Ryan had worked in Congress to "eliminate the federal deficit, reform the tax code and preserve entitlements for future generations."

In a statement issued Friday night, Romney's campaign said only that the running mate would be present at 9 a.m. EDT at the Nauticus Museum. The USS Wisconsin is berthed there — offering a hint about Ryan's selection.

Ryan's selection — as well as Romney's own nomination — will be ratified by delegates to the Republican National Convention that begins on Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden will be nominated for a second term at the Democratic convention the following week.

At 42, Ryan is a generation younger than the 65-year-old Romney.

His conservative credentials are highly regarded by fellow Republican House members, while numerous polls found that Romney's own were suspect among the party's core supporters during the primaries of winter and spring.

A seventh-term congressman, Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee, and primary author of conservative tax and spending blueprints that the tea party-infused Republican majority approved over vociferous Democratic opposition in 2011 and again in 2012.

It envisions transforming Medicare into a program in which future seniors would receive government checks that they could use to purchase health insurance. Under the current program, the government directly pays doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

Ryan and other supporters say the change is needed to prevent the program from financial calamity. Critics argue it would impose ever-increasing costs on seniors.

Other elements of the budget plan would cut projected spending for Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor, as well as food stamps, student loans and other social programs that Obama and Democrats have pledged to defend.

In all, it projected spending cuts of $5.3 trillion over a decade, and cut future projected deficits substantially.

It also envisions a far reaching overhaul of the tax code of the sort Romney has promised.

In turning to Ryan, Romney bypassed other potential running mates without the Wisconsin lawmaker's following among rank-and-file conservatives, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Republican officials said Romney had spoken with both men.

Romney and Ryan appeared unusually comfortable with each other when they campaigned together earlier in the year. The former governor eagerly shared the microphone with the younger man and they shared hamburgers at a fast food restaurant.

In making an endorsement before his state's primary last spring, Ryan said, "I picked who I think is going to be the next president of the United States — I picked Mitt Romney. ... The moment is here. The country can be saved. It is not too late to get America back on the right track. ... It is not too late to save the American idea."

Romney was the subject of an April Fools prank in which Ryan played a role. Romney showed up at a supposed campaign event where he heard Ryan calling him "the next president of the United States" — only to find the room nearly empty.

In recent days, conservative pundits have been urging Romney to choose Ryan in large part because of his authorship of a House-backed budget plan that seeks to curb overall spending on benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps.

Republican National Committee finance chairman Ron Weiser of Michigan, said Friday night that Ryan's selection would help Romney win Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes in the fall. The state typically supports Democrats in presidential contests, and Obama won it handily four years ago.

Ryan has worked in Washington for much of his adult life, a contrast to Romney, who frequently emphasizes his experience in business.

The congressman worked as an aide in Congress, and also was a speechwriter for Jack Kemp, who years earlier had been one of the driving forces behind across-the-board tax cuts that were at the heart of Ronald Reagan's winning presidential campaign in 1980.

Ryan is also well-known for his fiendish physical fitness workouts.

His congressional district in southeast Wisconsin has something of a bipartisan voting record. Obama took 54 percent of the vote there in 2008, while the congressman received 64 percent in winning re-election.

Outside Ryan's home in Janesville, Wis., on Friday night, there was nothing to suggest that the residence belonged to a vice presidential candidate. An Associated Press reporter who knocked just before midnight got no answer. There was a light on in a first-floor room of the two-story brick home atop a hill.

Earlier this week, a Ryan adviser said the congressman, his wife and their three children were preparing for a weeklong Colorado vacation.

Most of Romney's staff learned of the planned announcement during a 10 p.m. EDT conference call Friday about an hour before the campaign issued a statement. The identity of Romney's pick was not disclosed during the call. The campaign had promised that first news of the selection would be delivered via a phone app.

Earlier in the day, Romney's campaign briefed reporters on the bus tour without mention of the impending vice presidential announcement.

The tour will take Romney through North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Ohio. All are battlegrounds where Obama won in 2008. They hold 75 electoral votes combined, of the 270 needed to win the election.

____

AP reporters Steve Peoples and Andrew Taylor in Washington and Todd Richmond in Janesville, Wis., contributed to this report.

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Comments

Amedeo Lauria's picture

OMG, I'd better sleep with one eye open...

"He is a friend of the NRA, Catholicism, the Tea Party..." What does this all mean?!?!?! He supports the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, embraces other faiths and doesn't think we should be living on credit, bailing out failing businesses who can't compete with tax dollars, and thinks public ownership of private companies is a bad thing in America. These are just horrible! Horrible I tell you! This from the left the majority of whom despises private ownership of guns, believe in complete secularism, and the redistribution of wealth it does not own. Hmmm, is it REALLY hard to figure out who you should vote for in November. Hardly....

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Nice knee-jefk

All I did was state his positions and values as he has stated and affirmed them over and over. Interesting that you felt the need to spin them though. Of the 18 companies that came forward to claim they built their businesses on their own it turned out that 15 of them had received large government contracts. Make no mistake these guys will not shrink government nor will your tax bill be less. Corporate America and the big financial corporations depend on government largess. The only thing happening will be that the guy who collects a paycheck will pay more to make up for what the 1%ers do not pay and the community will receive less support from the government. That will not have any impact on the Romneys but it will have a big impact on families and workers.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

His credentials

Ryan was for years an apologist for Ayn Rand although he found out later she was an atheist and decided she was no longer his moral compass but still likes her moral views on capitalism. He is a friend of the NRA, Catholicism, the Tea Party, and he has been pushing for a budget that raises taxes on 85% of us, eliminates Social Security, Medicare and ACA in favor of those ever popular vouchers, and guarantees that Mitt Romney won't be paying hardly any taxes for the next 10 years. He is also an awesome fund raiser especially with the banking industry, from what I read, and a big fan of deregulating the banking industry. It would seem that Romney is strenghtening his religious and Tea Party credentials and his fund raising and banking connections while stepping away from any appeal to independents, women and minorities not to mention seniors. It's hard to believe that he is still trying to win over Wisconsin at this stage in the campaign. I suspect a deal was made to prevent problems at the convention. I predict a ton of media sludge and wedge issues coming our way to try to sell this package to the American voter (at least the ones that are still allowed to vote).

David A. Gagnon's picture

Right out

of the Puffington Post.

RONALD RIML's picture

It made my stomach wretch

To watch that draft-dodging Mitt Romney come dancing off the 'out-of-service' battle ship U.S.S. Wisconsin.

Who the f*-ing hell does he think he is???

Ronald J. Riml
Senior Chief Petty Officer
United States Navy Reserve, Ret.
Viet Nam Veteran, 1966-1969

David A. Gagnon's picture

OK Rahel Maddow,

it was a decommissioned ship, a museum mind you, named after the state Ryan represents. "BFD" That doesn't even compare to steeling credit and lying about who really killed Bin Laden. Stealing from the guys who actually were risking their lives. That so called President whom you love so much, lies every time he opens his mouth. John Kerry "who happened to serve in Vietnam " for 4 months lied all the time about his service. Were any false claims of service made, NO. Do they have a tax payers right to be there if nothing else. YES, especially on a decommissioned ship named after Ryan's state. Were there Vets there yes, many and they were not complaining like yourself.

RONALD RIML's picture

All theatrics, David.... Here's some Truth for you....

And who made you an expert on John Kerry; Rush Limbaugh???

Odd that of all the actual enlisted men who served under Kerry - only one - Steven Gardner - refused to support him - all the others did. A high school buddy of mine, Jim Wasser, was LPO (leading petty officer) of PCF-44; Kerry's first boat. He describes very different events than do your so-called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth"

"'Senior Officers" eat their young, while 'Enlisteds' support a good CO. Where you ever in the military to learn that??

Read - Swift boat skipper: Kerry critics wrong - Tribune editor breaks long silence on Kerry record; fought in disputed battle

And: FEB. 28, 1969: ON THE DONG CUNG RIVER - `This is what I saw that day'

Check out Snopes - http://www.snopes.com/politics/kerry/swift.asp

David A. Gagnon's picture

So why won't Kerry sign

the SF180( request for release of military records) What's he hiding? Why did his CO send him home after 4 months of duty when everyone else had to stick it out or go home in a body bag. That's right his CO sent him home. Who do you know other than John Kerry went running through the bush with an M16 filming himself. I don't know of any. They forced his opponent to sign his 180's in order to dig up any dirt they could, even trying to falsify some of the documents. When you and your bud Kerry can answer that, then Ill leave it alone. The Chicago Gangland Tribune, wow, now that's a jewel of knowledge.

RONALD RIML's picture

He was the only person to have himself filmed

with an M-16??

Wow!! Where did you dig that one up at??

So you dispute the Chicago Tribune Editor's eyewitness account and have to call it 'Gangland'

We know what that makes you.

Romney - nor his sons - have military records to sign releases on. Typical Republican Chickenhawks.

David A. Gagnon's picture

I have but one question that none

of you libs will answer. Why will Kerry not sign his SF180(request for release of military records) as was requested during and after the election he lost. What's he hiding? Why was he sent home by his CO after only 4 months of duty while everybody else either stuck it out or went home in a body bag. When he or you can answer that truthfully and release his information like they forced his rival to do, then Ill go away.

RONALD RIML's picture

That was only one question???

When will you learn to count.....

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Governor Romney's V.P Choice

What a great choice, someone who worked with and understands the federal budget and how to go about fixing it.

RONALD RIML's picture

But doesn't have the gonads or sense

To restore taxes to Reagan levels....

Mark Wrenn's picture

Ryan's Medicare vision:

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