Romney picks Paul Ryan as running mate
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama’s Republican rival Mitt Romney on Saturday selected a Wisconsin congressman, Paul Ryan, as his running mate.
The 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman heads the House Budget Committee and his nomination indicates that the Republicans plan to focus on America’s financial crises in their campaign for the November election.
The congressman has authored a budget plan that would curb spending on programmes like Medicare, and give tax breaks to big businesses with the aim to jump starting the ailing economy.
The two candidates plan to begin their campaign in Virginia this weekend with a four-state bus tour.
Announcing the nomination in front of a decommissioned battleship in Norfolk, Virginia, Mr Romney said his running mate was the “intellectual leader” of the Republican Party with the experience to bring America out of the current fiscal crisis.“We offer our commitment to create 12 million new jobs and bring prosperity to every American family,” he said.
Mr Ryan, a seven-term congressman, said his Washington experience would complement Mr Romney’s business and gubernatorial background and together they will pull America out of its financial troubles.
The congressman came to the battleship, USS Wisconsin, with his wife, Janna, and their three children to accept the nomination.
In his acceptance remarks, he praised Mr Romney as a leader with the background and skills to lead America. “Governor Romney is the man for this moment. He and I share one commitment, we will restore the greatness of this country,” he said.
The Wisconsin lawmaker is also a top political fundraiser in Congress, with more than $5.4 million in his campaign account, about $2 million more than the next highest House member. As the crowd waved small American flags, Mr Romney introduced the congressman as “the next president of the United States” but quickly returned to the podium to correct his mistake.
“Every now and then I’ve been known to make a mistake,” he said, “but I didn’t with this guy. He’s going to be the next vice president of the United States.”An opinion survey announced on Saturday shows that many voters continue to view Mr Romney unfavourably.
The CNN poll gives President Obama a lead of 7 percentage points over his presumptive Republican challenger.
Half the respondents, 52 per cent, said they support the president, while 45 per cent would back Mr Romney.
Among independent voters, President Obama has a 53 per cent-42 per cent lead.