Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has selected U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. Romney made the announcement Saturday morning, with the Janesville Republican at his side on board the decommissioned battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia.
“In a city that is far too often characterized by pettiness and personal attacks, Paul Ryan is a shining exception,” said Romney in prepared remarks. “With energy and vision, Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party. He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt – and the fiscal catastrophe that awaits us if we don’t change course.”
“Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history,” said Ryan. “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, first elected to the House in 1998, is in a reelection race for the 1st Congressional District seat, and his name will remain on the ballot. “Now that Paul Ryan’s personal ambition has clearly trumped his interest in the First District, I have no doubt he’ll find himself out of a job come November,” said Ryan’s Democratic opponent, businessman Rob Zerban. “Once Wisconsinites and voters across our country learn the truth about Ryan’s radical plot to end Medicare as we know it, de-fund women’s health care, and preserve tax breaks for millionaires, they’ll vote against him not just once, but twice.”
Romney’a pick is “bold and reform-minded selection,” said Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose own name had earlier been in circulation as a possible vice-presidential selection. “Romney and Ryan have the ideas and the experience needed to take on these core issues.”
“We are blessed to have our native son, Congressman Paul Ryan at the top of the ticket for the November election,” said Republica Party of Wisconsin Chairman Brad Courtney. “Congressman Ryan is the right choice for the party and a perfect pairing for Governor Mitt Romney; he has passed the threshold test while in congress to assume the responsibilities as our Commander-In-Chief on day one, should the need ever arise.”
“Americans are starving for leaders who can fix our economy and get our spending under control,” said Reince Priebus, the Wisconsin native who chairs the Republican National Committee. “Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan have the knowledge, expertise and vision we need to get America working again and get our fiscal house in order.”
AUDIO: Paul Ryan’s full unedited speech.