Mitt Romney Taps Paul Ryan as Running Mate (Updated with Reactions)



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1:30a – AP reports that a source close to the Romney campaign has said that the presumptive Republican nominee has picked Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate.

The official word, the source says, is to come at 9:00a (EST) at the Naticus Museum in Norfolk, VA where the USS Wisconsin is berthed.  Ryan is a seven-term Congressman, and he has championed a message of fiscal discipline which would round out Romney’s message of job creation.

Update 9:30a:  a text at 8:19a this morning confirmed that yes Ryan is the VP pick.

Here’s a press release I received from the Romney campaign in my inbox with the Congressman’s bio:

Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today announced Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. Below is Congressman Ryan’s biography:

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan is in his seventh term in Congress representing Wisconsin’s First Congressional District.  He is Chairman of the House Budget Committee, where he has worked tirelessly leading the effort to reign in federal spending and increase accountability to taxpayers. He also serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, where he has focused on simplifying the tax code and making health care more affordable and accessible.

In January 2010, Ryan gained attention nationwide after unveiling his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” a proposal to eliminate the federal deficit, reform the tax code, and preserve entitlements for future generations.

Representative Ryan was born in Janesville, Wisconsin on January 29, 1970. A fifth-generation Wisconsin native, Ryan was the youngest of four children born to Paul Ryan Sr., who worked as an attorney, and Betty, a stay-at-home mom.

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.

The Ryans reside in Janesville with their three children, Liza, Charlie and Sam. The family are parishioners at St. John Vianney Catholic Church.

Upon entering Congress in January of 1999, Ryan was the youngest member of the freshmen class at the age of 28. Prior to running for Congress, Ryan served as an aide to Republican Senators Robert Kasten Jr. and Sam Brownback, former U.S. Rep. and Vice Presidential Candidate Jack Kemp, and as a speechwriter for Education Secretary William Bennett.

Ryan is a graduate of Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville and earned degrees in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio.  He is an avid outdoorsman and is a member is of his local archery association, the Janesville Bowmen.

Here are some “points of interest” that I received from the Romney camp about Ryan:

  • Like Governor Romney, Paul Ryan understands the critical role that small businesses play as job creators.
  • Paul Ryan is a strong believer in free-market principles, the need for smaller government, fewer regulations, and lower taxes.
  • Paul Ryan has consistently voted against higher taxes, and has fought job-killing regulations.
  • Paul Ryan is widely respected for his conservative convictions, and for his strong conservative voting record.
  • Paul Ryan sides with social conservatives on the issues that matter to the community, and has been a strong defender of traditional values and conservative positions.
  • Paul Ryan is also a strong defender of religious conscience, attacking Obama’s HHS mandate as an affront to religious liberty.
  • Paul Ryan has received a perfect 100% rating from the National Right To Life Committee for each term he’s served in Congress.
  • Like Governor Romney, Paul Ryan believes marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
  • Paul Ryan is a Roman Catholic, and has 3 children with his wife of almost twelve years.
  • Like Gov. Romney, Paul Ryan is an unapologetic defender of the Second Amendment.
  • The NRA has strongly supported Paul Ryan, and called him a “strong defender of the second amendment freedoms of law-abiding gun owners, hunters and sportsmen.”
  • Paul Ryan is a bow-hunter, and a rifle and shotgun owner. He is also a member of the National Rifle Association.

SBA List is happy with the pick, saying that Romney kept his promise:

Washington, DC ─ Today the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), a national pro-life organization, praised the selection of U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate.

“By selecting Congressman Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, Governor Romney demonstrates his commitment to protecting American women and unborn children,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List. “A longtime pro-life advocate and a strong fiscal conservative, Congressman Ryan has insisted that there can be no ‘truce’ when it comes to advancing the rights of the unborn and achieving fiscal responsibility. He has a pristine pro-life voting record and will be an asset to Governor Romney’s campaign.

“Pro-life voters are a key demographic and help secure victory in critical elections,” continued Dannenfelser. “The addition of a second strong pro-life leader to the ticket energizes the pro-life base – we are thrilled with this pick.”

Congressman Ryan has voted consistently for pro-life legislation, including limits on late-term abortion, regulations against transporting minors across state lines for abortion and for an end to taxpayer funding of abortion, thus earning a 100 percent voting record with the National Right to Life Committee. While in the U.S. House, Rep. Ryan has co-sponsored numerous pro-life bills including the D.C. Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, and the Protect Life Act.

At the Palmetto Freedom Forum in September 2011, Governor Mitt Romney pledged to select a pro-life vice presidential running mate. Additionally, Governor Romney has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, restore the Mexico City Policy, support legislation to ban abortions based on fetal pain, and appoint only constitutionalist judges to the federal bench.

Excerpts from Ryan’s speech that have been released:

Mitt Romney is a leader with 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. 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.

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. 

I am committed, in mind and heart, to putting that experience to work in a Romney Administration. This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation; and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness.

That man is standing next to me. His name is Mitt Romney. And he will be the next president of the United States

Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney will replace. No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation.  And, in his first 2 years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda.  But that didn’t make things better.

In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt and despair.

This is the worst economic recovery in 70 years.

Unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years, the longest run since the Great Depression. Families are hurting.

We have the largest deficits and the biggest federal government since WW II.

Nearly 1 out of 6 Americans are in poverty–the worst rate in a generation.  Moms and dads are struggling to make ends meet.

Household incomes have dropped by more than $4,000 over the past four years.

Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.

I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs and factory towns.  Over the years I have seen and heard from a lot from families, from those running small businesses, and from people who are in need.  But what I have heard lately troubles me the most.  There is something different in their voice and in their words. What I hear from them are diminished dreams, lowered expectations, uncertain futures.

I hear some people say that this is just "the new normal." High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal.  It’s the result of misguided policies.  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.

I believe my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private sector success outside Washington. I have worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and job creation.

I’m proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business—you did build that.

At Bain Capital, he launched new businesses and he turned around failing ones – companies like Staples, Bright Horizons and Sports Authority, just to name a few. Mitt Romney created jobs and showed he knows how a free economy works.

At the Olympics, he took a failing enterprise and made it the pride of our entire nation.

As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with Democrats and Republicans to balance budgets with no tax increases, lower unemployment, increase income and improve people’s lives.

In all of these things, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a man of achievement, excellence and integrity.

We Americans look at one another’s success with pride, not resentment, because we know, as more Americans work hard, take risks, and succeed, more people will prosper, our communities will benefit, and individual lives will be improved and uplifted.

The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:

We won’t duck the tough issues…we will lead!

We won’t blame others…we will take responsibility!

We won’t replace our founding principles…we will reapply them!

We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice:

What kind of country do we want to have?

What kind of people do we want to be?

We can turn this thing around.  Real solutions can be delivered.  But, it will take leadership.  And the courage to tell you the truth.

Mitt Romney is this kind of leader.  I’m excited for what lies ahead and I’m thrilled to be a part of America’s Comeback Team. And together, we will unite America and get this done.  Thank you.

Update 2 10:45p:

Rick Santorum’s reaction:

Congressman Paul Ryan is an outstanding choice as our country’s next vice president, and today’s announcement demonstrates Governor Romney’s commitment to returning fiscal sanity back to Washington, DC. 

I have long supported Paul Ryan’s fiscal and entitlement reforms to return our country back on a path of fiscal health.  At a time when our country is at an economic crossroads, Congressman Ryan’s depth of knowledge on how to tackle these challenges is unparalleled.  He will serve Governor Romney and our country well to undo the flawed policies of the last four years.

In addition to Congressman Ryan’s stellar fiscal conservative positions, he is indeed a full-spectrum conservative.  He is solidly pro-life, pro-family, and will be an advocate for our military and our national security priorities.  I look forward to supporting the Romney-Ryan ticket in the weeks to come.

Sarah Palin:

Congratulations to Mitt Romney on his choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. President Obama has declared that this election is about “two fundamentally different visions” for America. Goodness, he’s got that right. Our country cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama’s fundamentally flawed vision. We must now look to this new team, the Romney/Ryan ticket, to provide an alternate vision of an America that is fiscally responsible, strong, and prosperous – an America that understands and is proud of her exceptional place in the world and will respect those who fight to secure that exceptionalism, which includes keeping our promises to our veterans.

Some local Iowa reaction.

Senator Chuck Grassley – “I think one word, ‘great.’  Great from an intellectual standpoint and great from a clarity of policy standpoint.  And a person ultimately, without a doubt, qualified to be president.

Ryan Rhodes – Tea Party leader


Secretary of State Matt Schultz – “I think Paul Ryan is a strong conservative and will help energize the Republican base. More importantly he knows the ins and outs of the budget and could be a key player in helping Mitt Romney fix our financial crisis. Good pick.”

Jan Mickelson, WHO Radio morning talk show host, shares his thoughts:


Iowa GOP Chair A.J. Spiker weighed in:

I congratulate our neighbor Congressman Paul Ryan on being selected by Governor Romney to be America’s next Vice President. America is currently facing a spending crisis that threatens the future prosperity of our children and grandchildren and Iowans are ready for real solutions- not empty rhetoric. Congressman Ryan has shown the leadership necessary to get our nation back on track and I am confident he will serve the people of Iowa well as the next Vice President.

Congressman Steve King (R-IA):

I am pleased with Governor Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential nominee. Congressman Ryan has been a leading advocate for fiscal discipline and balancing our federal budget, issues the current administration continues to ignore.

The Republican ticket of Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan offers a clear choice to the American people. We can have four more years of failed economic policy and massive debt under President Obama or we can restore our American Dream under the executive and fiscal leadership of Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan.

Paul is a friend and a fellow blue-collar conservative outdoorsman. I offer Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan my full support and will work to put Iowa in the Republican column this November.

Keep updated with Caffeinated Thoughts!

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LB3LDHWZXK7GXIW6DYVOYSVPHE SJ

    I guess all the rumors were right.  Color me unimpressed.  First off, picking a running mate before you’re the actual nominee smacks of desperation.  When’s the last time a presumptive nominee did that?

    As for Ryan, as we all know, in the Wisconsin primary, he enthusiastically endorsed Romney over Santorum, and also broke the law to help him by handing out sandwiches for votes.  Anybody who would shill for Romney while there were others still left in the race is definitely not socially conservative–he’s just good at hiding that fact IMO.  Like Romney, he seems to want to focus mainly on economic issues. 

    Romney could have done a lot worse, of course, but he needed to be able to sway folks who might be leaning toward Obama.  I really don’t think Ryan will do that.  But who cares, I guess.  LOL.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      SJ, they always make their pick before the RNC. He’s not doing anything different from what other candidates have done. He’s the presumptive nominee, he has the delegates. So criticize if you want, but his process has been ok.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LB3LDHWZXK7GXIW6DYVOYSVPHE SJ

        Thanks for the info.  I guess my memory is just kind of foggy about that.  I looked up 2008 and you’re right–McCain did pick Palin before the convention.  But it was only a few days before.  I don’t know if presumptive nominees normally pick a VP over two weeks out, but either way, I guess it’s no big deal.

        Oh, and Romney also picked somebody who is without a doubt Constitutionally-eligible to be President. 

        Woo hoo–let’s chalk up 2 for Romney! :)  LOL. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LB3LDHWZXK7GXIW6DYVOYSVPHE SJ

    Oh, BTW, Shane, you might want to change “birthed” to “berthed” in the second paragraph.  Hopefully we won’t be having any special deliveries today.  :)

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      Oops, yeah it was 1:30a and I was headed to bed when this popped up.

  • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

    An endorsement for fiscal responsibility but I doubt that it will help him with social conservatives or Independents.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      Well, like I said before.  His pick probably wasn’t going to help with those who have already decided, but it could hurt.  I don’t think he harmed himself with his pick.  It was safe.  I’m thinking though that it will be hard for Ryan to keep his seat in Congress if they lose.  That would be a shame.

      • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

        I would have preferred a pick that appealed more to Independents. Social conservatives (the so-called base) have an extreme dislike for Romney and it is doubtful that the Ryan selection will change that opinion at all as Ryan endorsed Romney and not Santorum.

      • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

        So glad to see Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum so enthusiastic about the VP selection. Social conservatives may be a factor in the election after all!