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UPDATE: Tim Pawlenty Voices Support for Romney, Wisconsin's Paul Ryan

Republicans say selection of Janesville congressman is a bold move. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty endorses the pick.

UPDATE (8:45 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11): Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty released a statement with his endorsement of the selection of Paul Ryan for vice president. 

"Congressman Ryan is a respected leader and a bold thinker regarding the changes needed to restore America.  His selection will also help Governor Romney win the key swing state of Wisconsin.  I am excited about a Romney-Ryan ticket and look forward to doing all I can to help them win this election."

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It’s official: Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney’s running mate, the Romney campaign announced today.

National news sites broke the news just before midnight Friday, ending weeks of speculation and propelling Wisconsin into the heart of the presidential campaign.

Shortly before midnight, CNN was reporting that three sources had confirmed that the Janesville congressman, 42, was the VP pick of the Republican Romney. News that Romney’s campaign was announcing its VP selection on Saturday in Virginia broke widely late Friday.

Romney made the announcement early Saturday morning in Virginia, kicking off a four-state tour in his bid to unseat incumbent Barack Obama.

The Huffington Post summed it up with one big red headline that trumpeted that the pick was  “RYAN”.  Even before 1 a.m., the story had generated more than 9,000 comments. By 2 a.m. Saturday, the website romneyryan.com, paid for and authorized by Romney for president, was already up and active and NBC and other news sites were also reporting the pick was Ryan.

Speculation that the pick would be Wisconsin Republican Rep. Ryan swirled on social media and national news sites as clues piled up. For example, it was reported by conservative site "National Review" that a plane that might be a Romney charter was spotted in Janesville and many media sites stated that Romney would be announcing his vice presidential choice in front of the U.S.S. Wisconsin.

Ryan attended the Sikh visitation services in Oak Creek, Wis., earlier Friday, viewing the bodies of the deceased with Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg. Tagg Romney tweeted about accompanying Ryan to the visitation later Friday. Tagg Romney wrote on Twitter Friday:

“In Milwaukee today along w #RepPaulRyanand #GovWalker to represent my family and offer condolences to the Sikh community.”

Various news outlets also reported that other top candidates—such as Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty—were out. The New York Times was more cautious, still reporting early Saturday only that “a confidant of Mr. Ryan’s confirmed early Saturday that aides believed Mr. Romney had settled on the Wisconsin congressman to join the Republican ticket, but all advisers had been sworn to secrecy. Three senior Republican officials said that they, too, believed that Mr. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, had emerged as the top choice.” Fox News also at 1 a.m. was still saying it could not independently confirm the pick.

The Washington Post already had a graphic on its site entitled, '5 things you didn’t know about Paul Ryan' by early Saturday. They included, “Ryan is from Janesville, Wis., where in 1884 his great-grandfather started a family construction firm, which is still run by his cousins today.” Another factoid: Ryan drove the Oscar Mayer weinermobile in college. Ryan’s first political job was with Jack Kemp in 1991 at a conservative organization.

By midnight, national cable news media was reporting the Ryan choice as a fact, and soon local news media was too. Ryan’s facebook page bio says he is a fifth-generation resident of Janesville.  He is chairman of the House Budget Committee. He is married to Janna; the couple has three children. Pundits on cable news debated the Ryan pick, including Ryan's controversial proposals on Medicare.

CNN: “Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is Mitt Romney’s running mate pick, three Republican sources told CNN.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Several national news outlets, including The Associated Press reported late Friday night that Mitt Romney has chosen 42-year-old Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) as his running mate.” In addition, the paper's Facebook page indicated that they were reworking their front page in anticipation of the news.

Genuinely Curious August 12, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Rob H... Yea, that's exactly what I was getting at. He takes a stance one way, and then when needed he takes the opposite the other way... If Kerry was the poster boy flip flipper... Well, Romney has definitely taken over that title.
Orono August 14, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Edward, your naive way of looking at life is cute. However, I can now clearly see why you are not that successful.
Postman Sharp August 19, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Thank you darling wonder Mitt! Thanks for blessing us with inspiration of inherited wealth. Thank you for teaching us nobody should pay more tax just because they hide money, tax-free, in the Caymans & Bermuda & Switzerland & Andorra. Thanks for having fools pay their taxes, while you live in luxury. Thanks for building an elevator for your cars & limos in one of your 7 palaces, which also gives us inspiration to be like you: accomplished & not being afraid to demonstrate loyalty to yr fellow accomplished friends with the promise to further lower their taxes. And also thank the Ryan budget author for promising to reduce yr tax rate to 1%. After all 13% tax rate sure beats the 37% rate those on salaries must pay. It'ss inspiring for all of us not yet rich as you; not rich like yr daddy, not rich as yr wife or boys. Thank you for choosing a running mate who is also a millionaire from the inheritance from his great-grandfather, the road builder, whose company was passed down to his son & then his son, Paul's Daddy afforded Mr. Ryan a life in Wash.DC & inspiration to lower taxes on his multimillionaire mom & dad & all those whom God has blessed. You go Mitt! Why should Americans wait for the government to give a measly retirement to those who paid for it, when you show how to take care of yourself? Why give people Obamacare just because people without $ get sick? If God wants them sick, why go against God's will? O Mitt, how inspiring you are! Pay no attention to envy!
People Person August 19, 2012 at 08:00 PM
The Romney-Ryan Plan: 1. Tax poor & working people but not the rich; 2. Encourage wages in the U.S. to fall to third world levels; 3. Pass trade laws that make it easy for companies to send jobs overseas; 4. Pass laws that enable only insurance companies to control who gets health care (including seniors) and who doesn't; 5. Replace public education with out of pocket private schools and home schooling; 6. Refuse to invest in crumbling public infrastructure such as highways, bridges, and sewer systems; 7. Pass laws that weaken regulations and enable companies to pollute the environment; 8. Pass laws that enable gas and oil production and prices to be controlled by a few large companies; Make sure that there is no longer any research or work on alternative energy sources; Keep defense spending high to protect non domestic oil production; 9. Repress rights for women and minorities and repress voting participation; 10. Divide the American people on cultural issues (religion, sexual orientation, gun rights, etc); 11. Instill fear in the American public through manufactured crises and created "boogeymen". Then attack political opponents by claiming to be more "patriotic" and the better keeper of "American Values" than they. 12. Make it impossible for literally millions of ELIGIBLE voters to cast their ballots, which is flagrant vote tampering and corruption. Can YOU afford to support these guys? We can't. We're an average American working family.

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