Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney will get the endorsement of Rep. Paul Ryan, a key party leader on fiscal issues.
Ryan made the announcement on Fox News Friday morning.
“It’s clear to me he understands the fork in the road America is facing,” Ryan said, adding, “I also think he has the best chance of winning and defeating Barack Obama in the Fall.”
Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, is from Wisconsin, where Republican voters will vote in their primary next week.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Ryan would join Romney on the campaign trail in Wisconsin before the primary.
The endorsement caps a week of nods from big name Republicans, young and old. On Thursday former President George H.W. Bush made an earlier endorsement official. Earlier this week Florida Sen. Marco Rubio endorsed Romney.
Both Ryan and Rubio are on most political watchers’ list of potential vice presidential picks for Romney, but Ryan said that didn’t factor into his endorsement.
“No that’s ridiculous we’ve never discussed that at all,” he told the Fox News anchor. “Gretchen, my focus has been on the budget i haven’t given any of that serious thought.”
His plans to transform Medicare and Medicaid to give states and individuals more choices while slashing government spending have become rallying cries for Republicans who support them and Democrats who say they will tear at the social fabric of the country.
A budget plan written by Ryan passed the House yesterday on a mostly party line vote.
Romney had high praise for Ryan’s budget proposal during a March 20th campaign stop in Chicago at Google’s office.
“It’s a bold and exciting effort on his part and the part of the Republicans and It’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier,” said Romney. “I think it’s amazing that we have a president who three and a half years in still hasn’t put a proposal out that deals with entitlements. This president’s dealing with entitlement reform — excuse me — this budget deals with entitlement reform, tax policy, which as you know is very similar to the one that I put out and efforts to reign in excessive spending. I applaud it. It’s an excellent piece of work and very much needed.”
Democrats have sought to turn Ryan’s budget proposal into a campaign issue. Also Friday they posted a web video poking fun at Ryan and Romney by showing images of the two along with the song “That’s Amore.”