Mitt Romney Chooses Paul Ryan as VP Running Mate

Romney touts the Janesville native's Wisconsin values; says he is an "intellectual leader of the Republican Party."

In choosing a vice presidential running mate for the Republican ticket, Mitt Romney was drawn to Paul Ryan's Wisconsin values.

Romney's VP selection — described by many as energizing, bold and even risky — shines a national spotlight on the 14-year congressman seen as a rising star in the Republican Party.

Hailing from Janesville, Ryan began his career on Capitol Hill as an aide and a speechwriter to various Republican politicians. He was elected to the House at the age of 28, and has grown into leadership positions such as chairing the House Budget Committee and serving on the Ways and Means Committee. He rose to prominence in 2010 after unveiling his “Roadmap for America’s Future.”

Ryan's veep selection was announced via a smart phone app early Saturday morning. Romney made a more formal announcement on a tour of the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, VA two hours later.

"America's Comeback Team"

Dubbing themselves "America's Comeback Team," Romney and Ryan spoke highly of each other as they made their announcement in front of an excited Republican crowd.

Romney said Ryan is an "intellectual leader of the Republican Party." Romney also said Ryan understands that people can have honest disagreements without making personal attacks.

"There are a lot of people in the other party who might disagree with Paul Ryan, but I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t respect his character and judgment," Romney said.

Touting Ryan's Wisconsin values, Romney said Ryan is "a person of great steadiness, whose integrity is unquestioned and whose word is good."

But Romney said Ryan's firm principles are balanced by his "practical concerns for getting things done."

"He's shown the ability to work with members of both parties to find common ground to on issues concerning American people," Romney said.

Romney initially introduced Ryan as "the next President of the United States," but later corrected himself before Ryan took the podium.

Ryan said he is excited to join Romney's campaign, saying the former Massachusetts governor has the "the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history."

"Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim; and they need someone to revive them," Ryan said. "Governor Romney is the man for this moment; and he and I share one commitment: we will restore the dreams and greatness of this country."

In his speech, Ryan says he has toured his congressional district and talked with voters who think the economic recession is "the new normal."

"High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal. It's the result of misguided policies," Ryan said. "And next January, our economy will begin a comeback with the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will lead to more jobs and more take home pay for working Americans."

The crowd at the gathering had a warm reception to Ryan, chanting "USA" when Ryan said, "Our rights come from nature and God – not from government."

  • WI GOP insiders:
  • WI Reactions:
  • Photos:
  • Full text:
  • A Rapid Ascension:
  • Initial reports:

Bold or Risky?

Romney's pick is seen by national politicos as a risky pick compared to former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, the other two potential candidates on his VP short list.

In a statement to Politico and other national reporters, President Barack Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina criticized Ryan and his "Roadmap" plan.

"In naming Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy," Messina said.

Gov. Scott Walker said in a news release that Romney's "bold and reform-minded selection" was a good one.

“This election has to be about who is going to look out for the next generation. America needs a comeback team to turn around the economy and to turn around the fiscal status of our country," Walker said. "Romney and Ryan have the ideas and the experience needed to take on these core issues. This is a great day for Wisconsin and an even greater day for America.”

In a statement, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said he believes Romney and Ryan have the knowledge, expertise and vision needed to rejuvenate the country's economy.

"Across the country, Americans are hurting, but America's Comeback Team will offer us a new direction and a brighter future," Priebus said. "I congratulate Governor Romney on his excellent decision. This is a great day for Wisconsin and for America."

Janesville Roots

While some political observers around the country may be familiar with Ryan's political beliefs, most of the country is being introduced to him for the first time Saturday morning.

tells a story of a rising star in the Republican Party that got his start as an aide to Jack Kemp, Sam Brownback and others.

A lifelong Janesville resident, Ryan was the youngest of four children born to Paul Ryan Sr., who worked as an attorney, and Betty, a stay-at-home mom. His father passed away when he was a boy.

"That forced him to grow up earlier than any young man should," Romney said in his announcement. "But Paul did, with the help of his devoted mother, his brothers and sister, and a supportive community. And as he did, he internalized the virtues and hard-working ethic of the Midwest."

In April 2000, Ryan proposed to Janna Little, a native Oklahoman, at one of his favorite fishing spots, Big St. Germain Lake in Wisconsin. Later that year, the two were married in Oklahoma City, according to a news release from the Romney campaign.

The Ryans still reside in Janesville with their three children, Liza, Charlie and Sam. The family are parishioners at St. John Vianney Catholic Church. He is an avid outdoorsman and is a member is of his local archery association, the Janesville Bowmen, according to the release.

Dirk Gutzmiller August 12, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Hoffa - I know there is no cap on Medicare contributions, but that may disappear given the Tea Party's "let's be fair to the bloated rich" campaign. Why wouldn't Romney/Ryan think putting a cap on Medicare contributions is a wonderful present to their contributors? The rich do get benefits with being Americans beyond getting, to them, a piddly little $3000.00 Social Security check each month, or their heart surgery mostly paid for with Medicare. They get a huge country, great democracy, stable government, hard-working , educated workforce, excellent colleges, world-class cities, great infrastructure, massive military, and all of nature's best, including four coasts (counting the Great Lakes), majestic mountain ranges, national parks, pristine lakes, beautiful countryside, etc. Frankly, the Tea Party does not appreciate what they have. They cannot look beyond that wallet in that pocket hanging off their arse. Yes, the funders of the Tea Party rose to the top economically, but sank to the bottom in character and understanding that they had a superior environment in which to succeed.
Dirk Gutzmiller August 12, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Hoffa - You might remember when we were just starting the Afganistan and Iraq Wars, and your godlike hero, George W. Bush, who you rarely talk about now, said the most patriotic thing people could do is go out and spend, spend, spend. No sacrifices needed by Americans, just please go out and spend up a storm. Even then, that sure seemed so odd.
James R Hoffa August 12, 2012 at 09:53 PM
@Dirk - When has Hoffa ever praised Bush, let alone hold him up as a "godlike hero?" Hoffa didn't even vote for Bush for-your-information. He voted third party / independent in both those elections. Bush is history - you and Obama need to move on already. Never before in recent political history has an administration put so much blame on the prior administration for its own failures. Once Reagan took office, he rarely if ever even mentioned Carter or his administration ever again. And he certainly didn't use the Carter administration as political capital in his re-election campaign, unlike the current clown occupying the White House. BTW - greedy consumerism started long before Bush took office and no politician is to blame for this. The people who made poor consumerist choices and sold out their country with their wallets and the votes of their dollar bills are the ones to blame! But it hurts you too much to point the finger in the mirror, doesn't it Dirk? Have you always purchased domestically assembled vehicles with domestically sourced components, with pride by the UAW? Or did you sell out your principles and the economy of your country? Be honest here Dirk?
Dirk Gutzmiller August 12, 2012 at 09:55 PM
@Hoffa - I am up here in the Northwoods enjoying it while we still have it. The only internet connection is dial-up, so videos on your youtube schtick are nearly impossible. I can really agree with President Obama that high-speed internet connections should now be a public utility, like the old REA for electricity. As I cannot see your videos, lets just say everyone in Congress and many political know-it-alls critics like you were/are asinine also in believing a few policy changes could pull us out of the Great Recession abyss to Great Prosperity so quickly, and we have to remember the Republicans in Congress openly committed to not supporting and obstructing Pres. Obama on everything. Who would have thought your beloved GM would be saved, and that we never had that double-dip recession.
Dirk Gutzmiller August 12, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Hoffa - You are blind to those that helped before. FDR kept us together in our worst moments, including the Great Depression followed by WWII. Stop being a hard-arse and just feel a little respect and gratitude for those helping give you what you had today. You did not arise from the cave, a great country was there when you were born. But I do not think you are capable of feelings like that. Just negativity.
James R Hoffa August 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM
@Dirk - That makes a lot of sense - let's cut the one thing that the federal government is actually constitutionally responsible for - national defense. While Hoffa agrees that the defense budget could be cut, it, along with veterans benefits, is the last place that we should go looking for cuts. Fiscal conservatism is about allowing people to spend as much of their own money as possible, whether one is rich or poor. It also doesn't punish financial success simply because one has achieved it.
James R Hoffa August 12, 2012 at 10:11 PM
@lois - "while the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes" The top 1% already shoulder 45% of the overall federal income tax burden and 30% of the FICA and FUTA tax burdens. The top 10% shoulder nearly 68% of the federal income tax burden and 57% of the FICA and FUTA tax burdens. That means that the bottom 90% are only paying 32% of all the federal income taxes and 43% of all the FICA and FUTA taxes currently collected. How much more do you want the wealthy to shoulder? What's fair in lois' world? "pass the notch program , and veto the mexican treaty" Not sure what you're talking about here. "let them pay for their own health insurance like the rest of us." According to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, members of Congress have the same plan as everyone else. Is she lying to us? Why is she lying to us? How can you support a party that permits lying to the people? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIrltAkTf38
James R Hoffa August 12, 2012 at 10:16 PM
@Bob Fraser - Demonic, the end days - that's the best you've got? Do you base your vote on realities or propaganda and rhetoric? That's the same doom and gloom crap that you guys on the left were feeding us about Walker's budget, remember? None of the doom and gloom has come to fruition, has it? And Walker is still our Governor! Romney / Ryan will be our next President and Vice President because people have seen through the lies of the doom and gloom that you perpetuate!
chris August 12, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Rich white guy Romney picks rich white guy Ryan career politician for his running mate. Bold choice.
James R Hoffa August 12, 2012 at 10:57 PM
@chris - What does the color of their skin have to do with anything? A little racist, are we?
James R Hoffa August 12, 2012 at 11:08 PM
@Dirk - I couldn't find capping the Medicare payroll tax anywhere in Romney's plan. Could you provide a citation for us? Oh, wait, I see, we're now basing the discussion on possibilities and speculation! Oh boy! Fortunately, we don't have to speculate about Obama, do we. His own people in the DOE stated that Solyndra wasn't ready for prime time. After a few visits to the White House, which Obama promised to close to lobbyists and crony capitalism, by a major campaign bundler/donor, behind closed doors so it wasn't transparent or available on C-SPAN 3 as Obama had promised, the loan guarantee was miraculously approved! Funny how that works, isn't it? Yeah, I'd definitely base my vote on speculation as opposed to the cold hard facts!
James R Hoffa August 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM
@Dirk - Did Obama need to save GM by making back room, behind closed door deals with his buddies in the UAW? Why couldn't it have simply been a straight up interest bearing loan with a repayment schedule, just as Bush had originally set up the bailout to be and just like Carter successfully did it for Chrysler under Iacocca back in '79? Under the Carter/Bush plan, the taxpayers would have fully recovered all of their money plus interest. Under Obama's shady deal, the taxpayers stand to lose out on billions. And didn't Obama promise to be more open and transparent with his administration, closing the White House doors to lobbyists and crony capitalists? While Hoffa approves of the auto bailouts, he does not approve of the way in which Obama handled them, which was a complete opposite of what he had promised during his campaign and at a loss to taxpayers. Why aren't you upset at Obama for lying to you? Finally, my grandparents and parents worked hard and contributed to building the great system that we enjoy. I'm thankful for everything that they and others have done, but nothing was ever given to any of them or Hoffa - as something given has no value. We have rightfully earned everything that we've received and paid more than our fair share in contributing to the system, and never taking anything from that system!
Dirk Gutzmiller August 13, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Hoffa - The truth-o-meter in politifact is a half-true rating. Obama proposes raising some fees. Obama actually proposed increasing the vets budget 10% for 2012. Joe Davis, director of public affairs for Veterans of Foreign Wars, said Obama "has been consistent in statement and action on protecting the Department of Veterans Affairs budget." Hoffa - Just because you buy your 1970's Mafia clothes at the Salvation Army, that does not make you a Veteran.
James R Hoffa August 13, 2012 at 01:08 AM
@Dirk - Oh, I get it now! When we don't want to refer to them as cuts to benefits, we refer to them as being increases in fess - that's some pretty slick word-smithing all right! Did your partisan bias cause you to miss the point - that both parties have proposed cutting Veteran's benefits. But rarely do such plans actual make it to a vote in Congress. So, what's the point of pointing the finger on this one exactly? Both are equally as guilty. Jealous of Hoffa for dressing dapper like Don Draper, hey ;-)
Dirk Gutzmiller August 13, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Hoffa - You voted for Nader instead of Bush? You are all over the place politically. So you are not really a die-hard Republican? Even old ladies are die-hard Republicans. What did you not like about Bush? Is there any documentation where you stated you did not like Bush? You voted for Perot and so did I, therefore McBride thinks by your vote you are a loser type. Bush was a two-term President. 9/11, Afganistan, Iraq, the Great Recession, etc. No wonder you are now clammering to disassociate yourself, along with all the other super-right wingers. We won't let that slipping on by happen. The ultra-right often try to blame problems all the way back to Clinton, so there is a legacy that just does not evaporate.. I and most Americans do not call our President a clown. He was elected fair and square, and his election win is actually part of the Bush legacy. I am blaming Bush in part for the consumerism push, certainly not the start of it, which goes back to post-WWII. I remember a speech where he said, in effect, the greatest contribution Americans could make to the war effort was to spend money. My American cars include 2 Studebakers made in South Bend, IN, one a collector 1962 GT Hawk, a Plymouth Fury made in America, not sure where, a $60 1941 Chevrolet DeLuxe, a Chevrolet truck van made in Lordstown, Oh. a Ford F250 made in Minnesota, but yes, other cars which were made entirely in a foreign country or assembled in Indiana. What hay will do you make from that?
Greg August 13, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Ryan is rich? Bold statement.
Dirk Gutzmiller August 13, 2012 at 03:00 AM
I invite the reader, if there are any that have not moved on at this point, to follow Hoffa's links. The VFW likes Obama, and we will see in other links they are fearful of Ryan, the tax ax murderer, with his tremendous cuts. This is another reason I do not think Ryan is going to gore all the oxen, and still plow ahead to a win. Romney is already distancing himself. Not Dan Draper, but your pseudo-style seems to be John Belushi in Blues Bros., but not that good looking nor in such good shape. My favorite mobster is "Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio due to the local connection and I have a hearsay story about him from when I worked in Chicago, not fit for Patch. As far as I can tell, he was never around THE Jimmy Hoffa.
Dirk Gutzmiller August 13, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Just because Ryan is a white male, I do not believe Romney is that comfortable with him. Ryan will keep the Tea Party in the fold, but Romney's natural tendencies are right-CENTER. Romney will distance himself from Ryan, and he will even say he does not entirely agree with Ryan on his proposed cuts. Bad mix.
Scott Shallcross August 13, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Which translation of the bible does it say to "give more to the rich and remove help from the poor"? Did Ayn Rand do a translation after "the fountainhead" and "Atlas shrugged"?
James R Hoffa August 13, 2012 at 03:29 AM
@Dirk - Yes, Hoffa voted for Perot in the first Presidential election that Hoffa was qualified to vote in. And Hoffa still has his Perot campaign t-shirt! And yes, Hoffa voted for Nader twice - a big part of his platform was balancing the federal budget and trade fairness. Don't forget, Nader was the Reform Party's (started by Ross Perot) candidate in 2004 after Buchanan lost in 2000. And Hoffa still has his Nader campaign t-shirts! In retrospect, Hoffa should have voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000, as a registered member of the Reform Party, but was hoping to help Nader get enough votes to qualify for federal matching funds in the 2004 race. Neither of the Bush's were very good fiscal conservatives in Hoffa's opinion. While they weren't good, they weren't necessarily bad either. Hoffa has always disliked the Patriot Act, NCLB, the TSA, etc. But Hoffa did like DADT. I'm sorry that Hoffa doesn't have very much respect for President Obama, but he has shown very little respect for the American people - holding a taxpayer funded multi-million dollar Alice in Wonderland Party staged by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp while the nation is facing a crippling depression shows just how truly out-of-touch the man is! The part that Hoffa can't stand is that he claims not to be out-of-touch - that's a huge laugh! He LIED about hope and change and won't admit it!
James R Hoffa August 13, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Hoffa was talking about cars purchased in the last 30 years. If you bought foreign and non-UAW, then you're part of the problem. You voted against the economy of your country and it's working class families. It's that simple. Outsourcing doesn't occur because the fat-cat's at the top want to get rich - it happens because the consumers demand cheap products. Well, one way to make cheap products is to exploit labor, resources, the environment, the tax code, etc. Every time you purchase a foreign non-UAW car or crap made in China, the Philippines, Malaysia, etc. you're voting with your dollar against everything that you claim to stand for. You guys complain about people voting against their own self interests and yet you don't even realize how you're constantly doing it on a daily basis! It's the epitome of hypocrisy! And why do a majority of people buy the cheaper goods made someplace else under exploited conditions vs the American union-labor made or fair trade nation product? Because you stretch your dollar further and acquire more material possession - in short, GREED! The power of the vote you make with your dollars is far more powerful than any vote you'll ever cast at a ballot box!
James R Hoffa August 13, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Well, Hoffa actually walks his talk Dirk, unlike you. Hoffa still owns and uses his Curtis Mathes television sets that were made in America. All of Hoffa's shoes and textiles are made in America, Canada, Italy, or Germany. And Hoffa has only purchased UAW domestic assembled with a high domestic part contents from a domestic company primary vehicles. Over 76% of the goods Hoffa purchases are made with pride in the USA and 16% are made in fair trade nations. Rarely does Hoffa ever purchase a product made under exploitational conditions. Hoffa puts in a lot of work to assure that this is the case. And while Hoffa's dollar may not stretch as far as yours at the end of the day, at least Hoffa can sleep at night knowing that he hasn't betrayed his country the way a majority of others have. What's ironic is that a majority who are complaining about being out-of-work or underemployed now are the primary cause of their own ill-fated plight. It's really quite pathetic when you think about it, isn't it?
Greg August 13, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Why do the democrats presume that Paul Ryan is locked into his previous proposals? He is changing jobs. When a quarterback becomes the head coach, he has to plan both the offense and defense. The entire game plan changes.
James R Hoffa August 13, 2012 at 04:28 AM
@Dirk - The real criminal gangsters were the Kennedy's - Johnny and Bobby!
Jimmy Pursey August 13, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Classy, Dan...implying people who read the Bible are "bums".
Jimmy Pursey August 13, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Not for even bigger losers...a fiscal dolt, and a woman hater? It's going to be 4 more years. Get used to it.
Jimmy Pursey August 13, 2012 at 02:41 PM
"You libs do so love your victimhood. You wear it like a badge of honor." I schooled you on this last time, Donny. "Victimhood" is one of the basic tenants of the modern Conservative movement. The big bad media is out to get you, imaginary Socialists, Communists, and other '"ists" are out to get you...your "very way of life" is being threatened, etc, etc. You need to feel victimized, so you can paint yourself as saviors. The two go hand in hand, Danny.
Dirk Gutzmiller August 14, 2012 at 05:06 PM
No Hoffa, things were given to you, and people died in war protecting them. The Founding Fathers, the Constitution, this bountiful land, a great educational system, businesses, infrastructure to drive you Cadillac on, under, and over, the dollar and economic system that allowed you to buy a Cadillac, etc. The Tea Party statements that they did everything entirely on their own and owe nothing to anybody makes them, and you, sound like a know-it-all, pompous bully. The real test of a Tea Partier's independence and resolve would be to drop the "Rambo" Repub into a deep wilderness with nothing.
Dirk Gutzmiller August 14, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Failed to mention a new '91 Ford Ranger made in Louisville. And as far as I know, any "foreign" cars I bought were also made and/or by union members, including the CAW in Canada. I wonder if your absoule allegiance to the UAW has anything to do with the coincidence of your preferring big old bad-arse Cadillacs. There are many factors that go into buying a car, including safety, dependability, gas mileage, value, warranty, resale value, size, features, etc., as well as "Drive the Union Label". I am sure there must be Japanese that only buy Japanese cars, Germans that only buy German cars, etc., and therefore would not consider ever buying an American made car. It works both ways. International competition, if fair, only enhances a product like a vehicle. As far a China goes, I will generally do without if I cannot find an American made product of any significance, or at least a non-Chinese product. That is nearly impossible today for some products, so buy used American or fix the old American product if feasible. But it can be a real pain stranded in your Studebaker along I-43 at 11pm! Your wardrobe may really fit the 1970's at this point. Hence the Hoffa image. Can't find anyone that wants to sing the praises of two-term Bush anymore, yet even Republicans liked the 90's with Clinton.
Dirk Gutzmiller August 15, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Hoffa - There are big surprises awaiting America if Romney wins, perhaps like capping Medicare for the wealthy.. That is the way the Tea Party works now, look at Walker's "bold" moves right after he was elected. Winning to the Tea Party means total mandate to get their way in any ruthless manner.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »