Updated: August 11th @ 10:00a.m.PDT
Mitt Romney chooses Paul Ryan as running mate.
Mitt Romney formally named Paul Ryan as his running mate Saturday, saying that the 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman was the “intellectual leader” of the Republican Party with the experience to tackle the fiscal crises facing the nation and the temperament to be effective.
“Paul and I are beginning on a journey that will take us to every corner of America,” Romney told thousands of supporters gathered on a muggy morning here, shortly before introducing Ryan and embracing him. “We are offering a positive governing agenda that will lead to economic growth, to widespread and shared prosperity, and that will improve the lives of our fellow citizens. Our plan to strengthen the middle class will get America back to work and get our country back on track.”
Ryan, whose wife, Janna, and their three children accompanied him, said his Washington experience would complement Romney’s business and gubernatorial background.
“I am surrounded by the people I love … and I have been asked by Gov. Romney to serve the country I love,” he said, noting that he still lives in his birthplace of Janesville, Wisc. “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 heart and mind, 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.”
August 10, 2012
The campaign made the announcement late Friday evening, but did not say who the pick would be. Speculation has centered lately on Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, but Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, among others, have all been mentioned as possibilities in recent days.
Romney will start the tour in Virginia in an attempt to gain some momentum considering Obama swept the state and three others within the vicinity in 2008.
“We are playing on their territory,” a senior adviser told reporters at Romney’s campaign headquarters in Boston. “We’re going right into the lion’s den in terms of blue voters.”
Top Romney campaign aide Eric Fehrnstrom said that while Obama won the states four years ago, “this time around, his support has eroded considerably.
“Even though his team is pouring tons of resources into these states, the bad economy continues to hang over Obama like a dark cloud,” he said.
Romney will seek to rally voters toward his message of cutting federal spending and lowering taxes to help middle-class Americans.
Averages of recent polls by RealClearPolitics.com show Obama up by five points in Ohio, three points in Virginia, and 1.5 points in Florida, while Romney is ahead by one point in North Carolina.