Note: This post has been updated to reflect developments in the unfolding Romney-Ryan 2012 announcement.
The 2012 veepwatch has concluded. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has selected House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) as his running mate.
The announcement officially came in the wee hours of the morning Saturday via Romney’s VP phone app. Within minutes of launching, Ryan’s new twitter account – @PaulRyanVP – already had more than 15,000 followers despite the early morning announcement. The Romney campaign is calling the duo “America’s Comeback Team” and immediately began fundraising off the decision, offering one new American the chance to meet the Comeback Team each week.
Ryan appeared with Romney in Norfolk, Va. this morning aboard the USS Wisconsin in the first of a series of stops in Romney’s four day bus tour.
At the rally Romney said that Ryan was “a man of tremendous character” “whose integrity is unquestioned and his word is good.”
“There are a lot of people in the other party who might disagree with but Paul Ryan, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t respect his character and judgment,” Romney said of the Congressman.
Romney characterized Ryan as a person who ”combines firm principles with a practical concern for getting things done” and said that the Romney-Ryan team would “offer solutions that are bold, specific and achievable.”
Ryan had equally high praise for the GOP nominee. “Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at this crucial time in it’s history,” he said. “Governor Romney is the man for this moment. And he and I share one commitment: We will restore the greatness of this country.”
He also made the case that his experience getting things done in Congress paired with Romney’s executive experience make them a better choice to bring prosperity back to the people of the United States.
“Together we will unite America and get this done!” Ryan told the cheering crowd.
Romney and Ryan will also appear together this afternoon in Ashland, Va. and later in Manassas, Va.
Although Romney’s veep app officially made the announcement Saturday morning, the news already had the twitterverse abuzz late Friday night after principles at Red Alert Politics sister publication The Weekly Standard broke the news near 11pm, with Editor William Kristol and Senior Write Stephen F. Hayes reporting that they had “learned that the Romney campaign has begun to prepare a vigorous effort in support of Paul Ryan.”
Ryan, 42, was initially thought of as a dark horse candidate, with politicians like Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlently considered as front-runners for the position, but in the last week his name began top VP speculation lists.
The House Budget Committee Chair & Wisconsin Congressman has often talked about the two futures that Americans currently face – one in which the country is back on a path to prosperity with the help of his budget, which slashes spending, and another in which the country is unable to meet its financial commitments and faces steep tax increases.
“We’re running out of time, and we can’t afford four more years of this,” Ryan said today in Norfolk.