Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:38 AM EDT2013-06-18 15:38:29 GMT
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Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:47 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:47:27 GMT
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Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:50 AM EDT2013-06-18 15:50:19 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB/AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has chosen House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to be his vice-presidential running mate.
The announcement took place in front of the U.S.S. Wisconsin at the Nauticus Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. Wisconsin is Ryan's home state.
Ryan, a seven-term Wisconsin congressman, has been the focus of speculation in recent days. Conservative pundits have been urging Romney to choose Ryan in large part because of his authorship of a House-backed budget plan that seeks to curb overall entitlement spending and changes Medicaid into a voucher-like system to save costs.
On Thursday, Romney told NBC that he wants a vice president with "a vision for the country, that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country."
The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial on Thursday, praised Ryan as a strong choice for Romney: "The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House budget chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline."
Party officials say Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been convinced for days that Romney had settled on Ryan, according to multiple people who spoke with the chairman. Priebus, who, like Ryan, is from Wisconsin, is expected to attend Saturday morning's announcement.
Others said to be in contention had been Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Romney's choice comes as he tries to repair an image damaged by negative Democratic advertising and shift the trajectory of a campaign that's seen him lose ground to President Barack Obama.
The vice presidential selection will dominate headlines, and Romney's team has been relentlessly teasing the announcement for weeks.