WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican Party's presumed presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Saturday formally announced U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, ending weeks of intense speculation.
Romney made the announcement and welcomed the Wisconsin Congressman aboard his "America's Comeback Team" in Norfolk, Virginia, in front of USS Wisconsin, a battleship of the Second World War era, decommissioned in 1991.
In the cheers of supporters, Romney and Ryan appeared together for the first time as the Republican pair to face against sitting Democratic President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, vowing to take the issues of economy and deficit back to the central state in the intensified presidential election.
The 42-year-old Wisconsin lawmaker in his seventh term, who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee, has been leading the Congressional Republicans' efforts this year to bring their own fiscal year 2013 budget plan, dubbed as "Ryan Budget," against the Obama administration's plan.
Romney acclaimed Ryan as the "intellectual leader" of the Republican Party with "great steadiness." Ryan, a long favorite of conservatives, is expected to help solidify the credentials of Romney, who has been labeled as a flip-flopper in policies by his opponents inside the party.
"I did not make a mistake with this guy," Romney made up quickly on the stage following a lapse of tongue when he introduced Ryan as "the next president" for the United States.
Ryan claimed that "Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution" amid the sluggish economic recovery and above 8 percent jobless rate.
"Now that we know who's on both teams, it's time to pick a side," the Obama campaign launched a quick counterattack minutes after Romney's announcement, calling the rivals as "the Go Back Team."
In a written statement, Jim Messina, the Obama campaign's manager, criticized Ryan as "the architect of the radical Republican House budget" which "proposed an additional 250,000 dollars tax cut for millionaires and deep cuts in education."
"With Mitt Romney's support, Ryan would end Medicare as we know it and slash the investments we need to keep our economy growing -- all while cutting taxes for those at the very top," Messina said in an email to Obama's supporters.
He said that by picking Ryan, Romney "doubled down on his commitment to take our country back to the failed policies of the past."
Romney has been widely expected to announce his VP pick before the Republican National Convention at the end of this month. The announcement is expected to give him a boost in fund-raising and polls and at least one week of positive press coverage.
Earlier in the day, the Romney campaign confirmed to his supporters via a phone app that the Republican VP ticket went to Ryan.
"I'm proud to announce Paul Ryan as my VP," the campaign said through social networks, asking them to "spread the word."
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