Romney, Ryan vow to restore 'promise to America'
Published Saturday, August 11, 2012 6:33AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 11, 2012 10:14PM EDT
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has selected Paul Ryan -- a U.S. congressman from Wisconsin -- as his running mate for the fall election campaign.
Romney officially confirmed his choice at a public event in Norfolk, Vir. Saturday morning.
Standing in front of retired U.S. battleship USS Wisconsin, Romney introduced Ryan and promised that together, the pair would restore “promise to America.”
The Republican presidential candidate promised to cut the deficit, create 12 million new jobs, create an agenda to achieve North American energy independence and repeal a controversial health care reform plan enacted by President Barack Obama’s administration.
He also promised to reinstate the work to welfare program.
Before introducing Ryan as the “next president of the United States” -- a mistake he later corrected -- Romney stated that “today is a good day for America and there are better days ahead.”
Following Romney, an elated Ryan took the podium.
The 42-year-old told the crowd that together, he and Romney will “restore the greatness of this country.”
The congressman slammed Obama’s track record and promised to bring new leadership to the White House that would create economic prosperity, growth and jobs.
“Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim,” said Ryan. “They need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment.”
The pair is set to embark on a four-day bus tour where they will visit the must-win states of North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Ohio. All four states were won by Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
Ryan is a seven-term Member of Congress and a Wisconsin native. He is currently the Chairman of the House Budget Committee and is widely viewed by Republican lawmakers as an intellectual leader within the party.
In March, Ryan authored a 2013 budget proposal entitled “The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal.”
The proposal criticized Obama’s handling of “the most predictable economic crisis” in U.S. history and warned of the “crushing burden of debt.”
In the proposal, Ryan calls for cuts in government spending and employment, cutting taxes and repealing the controversial health care law.
The plan also proposed changing Medicaid -- the U.S. health program for residents with limited income -- into a voucher-like system to cut costs, as well as overhauling the U.S. national health insurance program Medicare.
CTV’s Washington Bureau Chief Paul Workman told CTV News Channel that by choosing Ryan as his running mate, Romney has presented a strong conservative platform to voters.
“With this choice I think Romney has really said ‘OK, we are going to have a conservative agenda, that’s what we’re going to campaign on,” said Workman.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party will likely pounce on Ryan and paint him as someone who will “eviscerate” the Medicare system with deep cuts, Workman said. “The Democrats will in fact be salivating that he’s been nominated as vice-president.”
Political expert Marc Sandalow of the UC Washington Centre agreed.
“It means television commercial after television commercial telling senior citizens, ‘Do you want someone who’s going to take away your health care? Then vote for the Republicans,”’ Sandalow told CTV News Channel Saturday afternoon.
Sandalow added that Ryan’s selection changes the tone of the Republican’s campaign.
“Romney needs to talk about the economy if he wants to beat Barak Obama. The economy is not doing well…so by picking Paul Ryan, who is known for his budgeting and fiscal expertise, he helps to make this an election about the economy and certainly the next couple of weeks people will be talking about Paul Ryan and not about Romney’s taxes.”
Before Romney confirmed Ryan as his choice, other potential running mates included Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
However, Sandalow said Ryan’s selection helps boost Romney’s “excitement factor.”
“To have someone out there who bounces around and is a good speaker is obviously an asset.”
Ryan is from Janesville, Wisc., where he lives with wife Janna and their three children. The congressman holds a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio.
Ryan's selection and Romney's own nomination will be ratified by delegates at the Republican National Convention, which begins on Aug. 27 in Tampa, Florida.
Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden will officially be nominated to run for a second term at the Democratic convention the following week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Recent national polls as well as surveys in several battleground states indicate a narrow advantage for Obama with less than three months remaining before the Nov. 6 election.
With files from The Associated Press