Mitt Romney will name Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate at a campaign stop this morning in Norfolk, Va., as he kicks off a four-day bus trip to battleground states that President Obama won in 2008.
Ryan, 42, chairman of the House budget committee, is author of a controversial House budget that aims to cut spending on programs like Medicare and Medicaid. His selection is sure to energize activists on both sides: Paul is popular with conservatives -- and just as unpopular with liberals. Some conservatives uneasy with Romney had encouraged him to pick Ryan. The Wall Street Journal editorialized in favor of Ryan, saying he "put entitlement reform at the center of the public agenda—before it becomes a crisis that requires savage cuts."
The Miami Herald says he could be a drag in Florida, where seniors make up a huge part of the voting electorate. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee calls him a "right-wing extremist who wants to end Medicare.
"This is a major unforced error by Mitt Romney," said committee co-founder Adam Green. "It gives President Obama and Democrats a chance to draw a clear contrast in 2012 by promising not to cut one penny from Medicare or Social Security benefits. If Democrats win in a landslide, this was the game changer."
Paul -- who endorsed Romney in March -- has been on the list of probable picks: His advantages: he's a star among conservative Republicans for the budget plan he authored in the House of Representatives and his willingness to take on entitlement spending while advocating tax cuts.
His cons: Romney could be open to attacks by the Obama campaign that he doesn’t care about the poor and wants to dismantle popular safety net programs.
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.