Jessica: Tonight, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, will take center stage at the Republican Convention. He will make his first speech as the Republican candidate for vice president. But just who is Paul Ryan? We take a look.
Paul Ryan: I am deeply honored and excited to join you as your running mate.
Jessica: He is one of the new Republican stars in congress. His supporters say outdoor-loving Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan brings a small-town, hard-working feel to Capitol Hill.
Ryan: I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs and factory towns.
Jessica: But Ryan was making headlines long before being picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate, with his controversial proposals to cut government spending and balance the budget.
Ryan was born in Janesville, Wisconsin in 1970, the youngest of four children. He still lives just down the block from the house he grew up in, with his wife Janna and their three young children.
Ryan faced one of his toughest challenges at just 16 years old. He came home one day and found his father dead of a heart attack. His dad was just 55. After that, the younger Ryan took on a lot of responsibility.
In high school, he was class president by his junior year. He was prom king too, and joined almost every club he could. During those years, he flipped burgers at McDonald’s to save money for college. He went on to graduate from Miami University in Ohio.
Ryan got his start in politics on Capitol Hill right out of college. He started first as an intern and then as a speechwriter. In 1998, Ryan decided to get into politics himself. He won a seat in congress at the age of twenty-eight, becoming the second-youngest member of the House.
Wisconsin voters have reelected him ever since, and he now serves as Chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Ryan says American’s budget problems are something he is very passionate about. And it is all over his Facebook profile.
Ryan: We can’t keep spending money we don’t have.
Jessica: But Congressman Ryan does have another passion – it is fitness. And he is still getting his fitness fix on the Hill, sometimes leading P90X classes for his fellow lawmakers.
Now, Paul Ryan will be putting all of that energy into the long run to the White House.
- How did Paul Ryan first become a national figure?
- What are some of the events that have shaped Paul Ryan’s personality?
- How did Ryan get involved in politics?
- Why is Ryan so passionate about America’s budget problems?
- What are some of Ryan’s other passions?
- Why do you think Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate?