US: Mitt Romney picks Paul Ryan for running mate

Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would reportedly appear together in Norfolk, Virginia.

Zeenews Bureau

Norfolk: Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan has been picked by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his running mate, a report said on Saturday.

The duo would reportedly appear together in Norfolk, Virginia, today at the beginning of a four-state bus tour to introduce the newly-minted GOP ticket to the nation.

A Republican spoke to a news agency on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorised to disclose the decision.

In a statement issued on Friday night, Romney`s campaign would say only that the running mate would be revealed at 9 am EDT at the Nauticus Museum. Berthed at the museum is the USS Wisconsin — which offered a hint about Romney`s choice.

In the final hours before Romney`s team issued the statement, all signs seemed to point to Ryan, the seven-term Wisconsin congressman whose nomination could help assuage the conservative base of the party that has been reluctant to fully embrace Romney.

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 fuelled the buzz around Ryan, telling 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”.

Several Republicans took that as an indication that Ryan had shot to the top of a shortlist said to include Ohio Senator Rob Portman and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. Neither of those Republicans had plans to be in Virginia on Saturday.

Romney`s completion of the GOP ticket 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.

Ryan, 42, is viewed by some in the Republican Party as a bridge between the buttoned-up GOP establishment and a riled-up tea party movement that has never warmed to Romney.

(With Agency inputs)