Mitt Romney on Saturday announced U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate for the White House — a move described as both bold and risky by veteran political observers.
Ryan is a rising Republican star and is credited as the party’s leader on fiscal and budget issues.
“I was amazed at the energy, the crowd, people who just want to see us take the country in a different direction,” Ryan said. “It’s very exciting. We’re going to win this campaign. We’ve got the wind behind us. I’m really excited about this race.”
Ryan is the architect of a Republican spending plan that would overhaul many entitlement programs, making him a favorite of conservatives, whose support for Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been shaky.
“You saw the response of our crowds, very excited to meet Paul Ryan to get to know him,” Romney said. “A lot of them know him pretty well by virtue of things he’s been fighting for, but it just means one more person to drive a very strong message.”
But the Romney camp was also quick to put some distance between Ryan’s initial budget blueprint and his own.
“Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget,” the campaign said, “and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance.”
The pair will immediately hit the road, visiting battleground states like Colorado and Florida in the next few days.