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Mitt Romney Picks Paul Ryan as Running Mate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:19 a.m. | Mitt Romney has tapped Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate, his campaign announced Saturday morning.

Official word of the pick came via a press release a little after 7 a.m. titled “Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan: America’s Comeback Team.” The pick was first reported in the wee hours of Saturday morning by NBC News’ Chuck Todd, who cited three sources.

The announcement will come Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va., in front of the USS Wisconsin. The event is the first stop of a multiday campaign bus tour for Romney and his newly minted running mate.

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has taken on an increased national profile as the architect of the GOP’s budget plan that proposes dramatic reforms to entitlement programs.

His stock as a VP pick rose in recent weeks as a chorus of conservatives, including the Weekly Standard and Wall Street Journal, publicly encouraged Romney to make a bold choice with Ryan. The pick is viewed as likely to energize the Republican base.

Ryan is a policy wonk and a legislator, experience that Romney does not have as a former governor of Massachusetts. He also hails from a key swing state, one that generally votes Democratic in presidential elections and is currently among the most polarized in the country.

The 42-year-old was among the youngest possible VP picks on Romney’s short list. He has represented Wisconsin’s 1st district since 1999 and became Budget chairman when Republicans took control of the House at the beginning of the 112th Congress. Before being elected to the House, Ryan was a Congressional staffer and worked at Empower America, a conservative advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

Ryan can run simultaneously for vice president and for re-election to his House seat. If elected, he would resign his seat and a special election would be held to fill it.

Romney and Ryan will be formally nominated at the Republican National Convention, which begins on Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla.