Courtesy of MCT
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his vice presidential running mate early Saturday morning.
At an event in Norfolk, Virginia Romney announced that 42-year-old Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would run with him on the Republican ticket for the 2012 presidential election.
Ryan is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio, where he received a degree in economics and political science. He is the current delegate from Wisconsin’s 1st district in the House of Representatives, and is Chairperson of the House Budget Committee.
Ryan took the podium in Norfolk and addressed the crowd, calling President Barack Obama’s time in office the “worst economic recovery in 70 years,” criticizing the Democrat’s “record of failure,” and rallied against the high unemployment rate.
Ryan said that he was honored by Romney’s selection.
“For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There, I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, and turning ideas into action, and action into solutions,” Ryan said. “I am committed, in heart and mind, to putting that experience to work in a Romney administration.”
Some Republican supporters were thrilled by the decision.
“Congressman Paul Ryan is a fantastic selection as Governor Mitt Romney’s running mate. They will lead a great American come back, restoring America’s promise,” said Niraj Antani, communications director for Ohio State College Republicans in an email Saturday. “Congressman Ryan brings a unique enthusiasm and experience that will excite college students. Together, Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan will ensure our generation graduates in an economy with great opportunity and prosperity.”
Ryan’s conservative voting history has made him popular among conservatives and Tea Party members.
The Ohio Democratic Party released a statement Saturday regarding the announcement.
“Romney as president would be bad enough, but Ryan as Vice-President would be catastrophic and take us back to the policies that crashed our economy,” said Chairman Chris Redfern in the statement. “Ryan would pound a sharp stake into the heart of Medicare, and we won’t let that happen.”
Redfern said that Ryan got his start working for Ohio Gov. Kasich, and that he worked to “slash programs for working families, grinding progress to a halt, and laying the groundwork to shut down the federal government.”
Ryan was one of the several candidates rumored to be on the vice presidential short-list, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
According to an email from Obama for America Ohio spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw, Vice President Joe Biden reached out to the new candidate Saturday, congratulating him on the selection.
The event was not announced until late Friday evening, but Ryan’s candidacy broke Friday via Twitter by ABC News, and was confirmed by the Romney campaign before the event early Saturday morning.
The Romney campaign is scheduled to stop in Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 14, during a bus tour to four swing states.
Representatives from the OSU College Democrats did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday.