Aug. 11, 2012 — -- Mitt Romney has selected Rep. Paul Ryan, a seven-term Republican from Janesville, Wis., to be the GOP's vice-presidential nominee, the campaign announced early Saturday morning.
As speculation mounted over Romney's pick Friday night, several top Republicans told ABC News that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee had picked Ryan, the House budget chairman, for his running mate.
Romney and Ryan are expected to campaign together in Virginia today, where Romney will announce his decision in person in front of the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va. Romney will kick off a bus tour through the critical swing state at that event.
Early Saturday morning, the website RomneyRyan.com went live, without any direct reference to Ryan on the site. In its announcement, the Romney campaign pitched Romney and Ryan as "America's Comeback Team."
As of an hour before the Norfolk rally, no signs or banners bearing Ryan's name or a Romney-Ryan logo were visible at the event site, ABC can confirm. A small crowd had lined up outside as early as 5:30 a.m., and event workers were still setting up with an hour to spare.
Ryan is a high risk, high reward pick for Romney. He is a wonky intellectual who has been the GOP's point man on finding ways to reduce the deficit.
Democrats have argued that his plans would alter Medicare for future generations. And Romney has not embraced every aspect of Paul Ryan's Medicare proposals.
Ryan has campaigned already with Romney and the two have an obvious rapport. But Romney has sold his candidacy as one that comes from outside Washington. Ryan has spent his entire professional life on Capitol Hill.
For months, Ryan has danced around the running mate question, refusing to comment on the vetting process and insisting that his focus is on his responsibilities in the House of Representatives.
"I am not going to answer that question because it doesn't do the Romney campaign any favors to speculate in this area," Ryan told CBS's "Face the Nation" July 15. "I just don't want to comment on it because I just don't think it's helpful to their campaign process."
Ryan appeared publicly alongside Romney most recently at an event in Janesville June 18. He attended a Romney fundraising weekend retreat in Utah last month and stumped on Romney's behalf most recently in Normal, Illinois on July 13.
"What I see in Mitt Romney are the kinds of skills, tools, character attributes that you need in a leader! He makes decisions. He doesn't pander," Ryan said at the Reagan Library in May. "He is going to beat Barack Obama and I think that we are going to save this country."
Ryan's a popular pick inside the Republican Party, where he's often praised as an ideas man after drafting the GOP's budget known as the Path to Prosperity, which overhauls entitlements and cuts spending in an effort to reduce the deficit.
But across the aisle, Democrats have been sizing up Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget committee, as an easy target for his controversial ideas to address the deficit.
Still, Ryan has not shied away from his budget blueprint. He recently told George Stephanopoulos that the election will turn on the economy and health care.
"This election is a choice of two futures: Do you want a government-centered society and a government-driven economy and government-rationed health care? Or do you want the American opportunity society with a safety net, a free economy, economic freedom, personal liberty?" Ryan said on 'This Week' July 1. "That's what we want. That's the American idea. We have one more chance as a people to get that back, and that chance is going to come on November the 6th."
Ryan and his wife Janna have three children, Elizabeth, Charles and Samuel. He earned a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio. Before serving in the House, he was a political speechwriter for 1996 vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, and later legislative director for then-Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.