Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate, according to a Republican with knowledge of the development.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorised to disclose the decision.

Romney’s completion of the Republican 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 party establishment and riled-up conservative activists that have never warmed to Romney.

As the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan could help Romney make the argument that only the Republican ticket knows how to turn around a nation in the midst of a sluggish economic recovery.

As talk about Ryan swirled this week, Democrats have been castigating Romney for embracing the Ryan-sponsored budget proposal that critics say is painful to the poor and elderly.

It was a sign of the line of attack to come.

The move also now links Romney directly with House Republicans, including no-compromise conservative activists who have pressed for deep spending cuts. Obama has been casting House Republicans as an impediment to progress in the often-gridlocked Washington.

At the same time, Ryan on the ticket could help Romney become more competitive in Wisconsin, a state Obama won handily four years ago but that could be much tighter this November.

In a statement issued last night, Romney’s campaign would say only that the running mate would be revealed at 9 a.m. EDT.

The newly minted Republican ticket will appear together today in Norfolk, Virginia, at the start of a four-State bus tour to introduce the Republican ticket to the nation.

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.”

(This article was published on August 11, 2012)
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