WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney officially announced Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate at an event Saturday morning in Norfolk, Virginia.
'It's an honor to announce my running mate...Paul Ryan,' Romney said at the naval museum accompanying the USS Wisconsin on Saturday morning.
'His leadership begins with character and values. He's a person of great steadiness, whose integrity is unquestioned and his word is good,' Romney continued. 'A lot of people on the other party may disagree with Paul Ryan. I don't know anyone who doesn't respect his character and judgment.'
On their policy platform, Romney said his and Ryan's choices would be 'bold, specific and achievable.' Specifically, he mentioned job creation, American energy independence, bringing work back to welfare, ensuring Medicare and social security for all and repealing and replacing 'Obamacare.'
But the speech was not without its gaffe, something pundits have come to expect from Romney. Just before Ryan's speech, Romney enthusiastically announced, 'Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan!'
Romney quickly corrected the mistake, patting Ryan on the back and saying, 'Every now and then I'm known to make a mistake, but I didn't make a mistake with this guy.'
Ryan's speech proved to be well-practiced, fluid and relateable. In fact, his easy of oratory drew multiple comments on Twitter from fans and opponents alike as a point that could behoove the ticket when they enter the debate season.
'President Obama has become part of the problem and Mitt Romney is the solution,' Ryan began his speech, one in which he received greater applause than his new boss.
'I believe there is no person better prepared because of his experience, because of the principles he holds and because of [his] achievements...to lead America at this point in our history,' Ryan added, referring to Romney.
Turning to the sitting president, Ryan said no one disputes Barack Obama inherited a difficult situation. But, he added, whatever the excuse, Obama's record was one 'of failure.'
'[Democrats are] more worried about their next election than of the next generation,' he added, saying, 'We can't afford four more years of this.'
Rounding out his speech, Ryan said 'Our rights come from nature and God, not from government.' These remarks were met by cheers from the crowd of 'USA! USA! USA'
'The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this - we won't duck the tough issues, we will lead. We won't blame others, we will take responsibility. And we won't replace our founding principles, we will reapply them.'
The news of the Ryan pick officially broke early Saturday morning when the Romney campaign sent a text message via mobile phone to supporters. The succinct message simply said, 'Mitt's Choice for VP is Paul Ryan,' and asked people to spread the news.
A Romney campaign statement sent out before the remarks in Norfolk said as a rising party leader, Ryan has worked hard in the Congress to 'eliminate the federal deficit, reform the tax code and preserve entitlements for future generations.'
The Ryan choice is both controversial and exciting for the ticket. Democrats and Republicans alike were pushing Ryan in the days and weeks leading p to the announcement today, both believing the choice could benefit their party.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal endorsed the 42-year-old Chairman of the House Budget Committee, saying the Romney could only win with such a 'bold choice.'
'Mr. Obama and the Democrats want to make this a small election over small things - Mitt's taxes, his wealth, Bain Capital. As the last two months have shown, Mr. Romney will lose that kind of election,' the Journal editors wrote.
'To win, Mr. Romney and the Republicans have to rise above those smaller issues and cast the choice as one about the overall direction and future of the country.'
Meanwhile, Democrats were also encouraging Ryan as a veep pick for the former Massachusetts governor, painting the congressman as an 'extremist' bent on cutting entitlements.
'Romney will have picked one of the only people who could have had an impact in the race. But, not the way he wants,' pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action co-founder Bill Burton tweeted.
'Paul Ryan is a right-wing extremist who wants to end Medicare,' Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam West said.
'This is a major unforced error by Mitt Romney. It gives President Obama and Democrats a chance to draw a clear contrast in 2012 by promising not to cut one penny from Medicare or Social Security benefits.'
'If Democrats win in a landslide, this was the game changer,' West added. But this was unclear Saturday morning as the newly announced running mate spoke easily and roused the crowd in a way Romney has been unable to during this election cycle.
Undoubtedly, Ryan's youth, oratory and experience in the House, aside for all else, will help him frame Romney in a new light for voters. Also without a doubt, Democrats will make sure to inform the American people of Ryan's strict budget cutting and cost-saving plans.
After the Norfolk event this morning, Romney and Ryan will kick-off their bus tour, hitting Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX