Romney announces VP
BY KASIE HUNT Associated Press
Sunday, August 12, 2012
8/12/12 at 6:23 AM
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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Republican Mitt Romney anointed Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, an ardent conservative and devoted budget cutter, as his vice presidential running mate on Saturday, and the two men immediately embarked on a tour of campaign battleground states vowing to defeat President Barack Obama.
America is "a nation facing debt, doubt and despair," and a transformative change in leadership is vital, Ryan declared after Romney introduced him as his partner for the fall campaign.
"Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem... and Mitt Romney is the solution," said the seven-term lawmaker, who at 42 is a generation younger than Romney, 65. Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee, the chief architect of deeply controversial budget plans and widely viewed by Republican lawmakers as an intellectual leader within the party.
The two Republican ticket mates basked in the cheers of supporters in a made-for-television debut on a ticket hoping to make Obama's first term his last. "I did not make a mistake with this guy," Romney exulted.
The party establishment, rank-and-file conservatives and tea party groups all cheered the pick
Obama's campaign didn't wait long to respond. It criticized the budget blueprints Ryan has authored, particularly his recommendations to fundamentally remake Medicare and cut $5.3 trillion in government spending over the coming decade.
Ryan joins a race that has been defined from the beginning by a weak economy and high unemployment, measured most recently at 8.3 percent in July. Even so, recent national polls as well as surveys in several battleground states indicate a narrow advantage for Obama.
While Romney's pick unified Republicans, the impact in swing states was an open question. All are home to large numbers of seniors whose reaction to Ryan's prescription for Medicare is certain to be tested by Democrats.
The GOP ticket made its debut at a naval museum in Norfolk, Va., opening stop of a long-planned bus tour through four states in as many days. A trip to Ryan's home state was added to previously scheduled appearances.
Oklahoma political leaders’ reaction
U.S. Sen Tom Coburn, R-Okla.: "Gov. Romney has made an outstanding selection. He has sent a clear signal that he intends to win not just a political victory but a mandate to restore America. The Romney-Ryan 'comeback team' understands our debt is the greatest threat to our national security and will act decisively to meet that generational challenge.
"I have had the privilege of working alongside Paul Ryan for many years. He has exhibited the rarest and most essential quality of leadership in politics - moral courage. When most elected officials have offered only rhetoric, Ryan has had the audacity to offer specifics and a plan that has transformed the landscape of American politics.
"Those on the left who view this pick as an opportunity to demonize their opponents will, through their attacks, only energize Americans who are yearning for honesty and real answers. The fact is Ryan has proposed innovative ways to salvage the noblest goals of his political opponents - a safety net that is both compassionate and sustainable. I applaud Governor Romney and look forward to helping the Romney-Ryan ticket put America back on track."
U.S. Sen Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.: "I congratulate Mitt Romney on his excellent vice presidential selection of Paul Ryan. Ryan is a solid conservative who has shown incredible leadership on some of the biggest issues of the day. The Romney-Ryan ticket will bring solutions to our country's fiscal problems while restoring America's economic strength. Incidentally, he has family ties to our state since his wife is from Oklahoma."
U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla.: "Andrea and I are excited for Paul and Janna. Janna and I grew up together and I couldn't be more proud of my cousin. Like my late mother after whom she is named, Janna is a wonderful parent to their children and will be Paul's strongest supporter on the campaign trail. Paul has a firm moral compass and has always approached his job as a congressman with diligence and honesty. Having many friends on both sides of the aisle, he is an effective and talented leader. Although we belong in different political parties, I see Paul as a friend, a fellow hunter, and most importantly, a family man."
U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla.: "The more America learns about Paul Ryan, the more people are going to love him. He is a bold leader, a serious legislator and the kind of principled conservative we need to lead our country back to economic prosperity.
"I've had the pleasure of serving with Paul in Congress, he is a good friend and I can tell your from first-hand experience, his selection to serve at Mitt Romney's running mate is a home run for the American people.
"Paul Ryan has family ties to Oklahoma, he knows the great people of our state and he will make an excellent Vice President of the United States."
Gov. Mary Fallin: "Having worked with Paul Ryan in Congress, I know he is a smart, committed advocate for the kind of small government, pro-growth policies that are going to create more jobs and get this country back on track. He's also a genuinely nice person with a great family and a wonderful wife from Madill, Oklahoma. He will make a great running mate, and continue to be an effective voice for the principles of limited government and free markets that make America great. I applaud Mitt Romney for selecting Paul, and I look forward to doing everything I can to support the Romney/Ryan ticket."
Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell: "Today marks a turning point in this presidential race. Ryan's addition to the ticket shows that Gov. Romney, in addition to his focus on job creation, is prepared to run a robust campaign with a sharp message built around tax and spending cuts, deficit reduction and entitlement reform; policies that will literally save this country.
"When you couple this winning message with the fact that he's married to an Oklahoman and his dogs are named Boomer and Sooner, Mitt Romney couldn't have chosen a more qualified running mate."