NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tapped Congressman. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate today, turning to the architect of a conservative and intensely controversial long-term budget plan to remake Medicare and cut trillions in federal spending.
Romney made his announcement to supporters via a phone app. "Mitt's Choice for VP is Paul Ryan," it said and implored backers to spread the word.
The ticket-mates arranged their first joint appearance later in the morning at a naval museum, the initial stop of a bus tour through four battleground states in as many days. The USS Wisconsin, berthed at the museum, was their bunting-draped backdrop.
In a written statement, Romney's campaign said that Ryan has worked in Congress to "eliminate the federal deficit, reform the tax code and preserve entitlements for future generations."
Ryan's selection — as well as Romney's own nomination — will be ratified by delegates to the Republican National Convention that begins on Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden will be nominated for a second term at the Democratic convention the following week.
The Democrats' re-election campaign withheld any reaction to Ryan's selection until after the formal announcement.
One campaign official said Romney had settled on Ryan as his pick on Aug. 1, more than a week ago, and informed Beth Myers, the longtime aide who had shepherded the secretive process that led to the selection. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details.
It was not known when Romney informed Ryan he wanted him on the ticket.
At 42, Ryan is a generation younger than the 65-year-old Romney.
His conservative credentials are highly regarded by fellow Republican House members, while numerous polls found that Romney's own were suspect among the party's core supporters during the primaries of winter and spring.