Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduced Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate on Saturday, turning to the architect of a deeply conservative and intensely controversial long-term budget plan to remake Medicare and cut trillions in federal spending.
In the campaign to come, Republicans will present economic solutions "that are bold, specific and achievable," Romney said as he presented his political partner to cheering supporters. "We offer our commitment to create 12 million new jobs and bring better take home pay to middle class families."
The two men basked in the cheers of supporters in the ticket's made-for-television debut. "I did not make a mistake with this guy," Romney exulted.
"I am deeply excited and honored to join you as your running mate," Ryan said in his first words at the podium." He said that together, "we will restore the greatness of this country."
"Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution" to an economy that has yet to make a strong recovery from the worst recession in decades, he said.
The event went well, but for one slip of the tongue.
Romney mistakenly introduced Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on Saturday as “the next president of the United States” instead of next vice president. Romney came back on stage and made the correction. A sheepish Romney puts arms around Ryan and clarified his mistake before Ryan took the microphone.
It was the first time they appeared together as the Republican presidential ticket.
The ticket made its debut at a naval museum in Norfolk, Va., the initial stop of a bus tour through four battleground states in as many days. The USS Wisconsin, berthed at the museum, was their bunting-draped backdrop.
While word of Ryan's selection leaked late Friday night, and was posted by the campaign to its phone app before the speeches.
President Barack Obama's campaign says Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate shows a commitment to "budget-busting tax cuts" for the wealthy and "greater burdens" on the middle class and seniors.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina calls Ryan is the "architect of the radical Republican House budget" proposal and says the plan "would end Medicare as we know it."
The Obama campaign said Saturday the Republican ticket would return the nation to "reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy."
Democrats are expected to seize upon Ryan's authorship of a House-backed budget plan that would curb overall entitlement spending and changes Medicare into a voucher-like system.