Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a seven-term congressman from Wisconsin, released his first television advertisement of the 2012 election cycle, as he goes for two jobs at once: Ryan’s seeking re-election to his House seat as he campaigns with Mitt Romney for the White House.
“As Americans, we deserve a choice,” Ryan says in the opening to the 30-second ad, addressing a group gathered in a coffeehouse. “You, not Washington, should decide the path we take and the decisions we make. Americans can’t wait, so we won’t wait. If we act now, we can get this right.
“We don’t want a government-controlled society,” Ryan says. “We want a limited government that is both efficient and effective. This is our chance to restore real faith and real opportunity in America,” he says, seeming to allude to his positions on entitlement reform and spending, the core of his previous congressional campaigns.
Ryan, who represents the Wisconsin’s 1st District, placed the ad buy with WISN-Milwaukee, and a Ryan campaign official said this would not be the VP candidate’s only buy.
The Ryan ads could have a dual impact in the state. Ryan’s district encompasses one of the major Republican strongholds, namely, Waukesha. If Romney hopes to win the Badger State, Ryan must command a strong turnout there.
Since he was first elected to the House in 1998, Ryan has yet to have a competitive race. While he is expected to win his House race this year, the district had been traditionally Democratic. Les Aspin represented it until he became President Clinton’s secretary of defense in 1993.
Ryan is not the first vice presidential candidate to run two races at once. Vice President Joe Biden ran concurrently for his Senate seat in Delaware in 2008; Joe Lieberman continued to run for the Senate in Connecticut in 2000 after Al Gore tapped him for his running mate; and Lyndon Johnson, too, ran for the Senate in Texas after he’d joined the Kennedy ticket in 1960. It’s worth noting that all of them won their congressional races.
ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe and Elizabeth Hartfield contributed to this report