It's Paul Ryan: Romney Picks House Budget Chief for V.P.

The 42-year-old conservative author of the Republican plan to shrink the federal government hails from Wisconsin, and has never run a statewide race.

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Mitt Romney will name Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. as his vice presidential runningmate, National Journal has confirmed. The Romney campaign said it would announce its choice Saturday morning on the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va.

Ryan, 42, the House Budget Committee chairman, is an intellectual leader of the conservative movement, noted for authoring a GOP budget that sharply cuts taxes, spending and entitlements. Like Republicans in the House and Senate, Romney has embraced the controversial plan.

Ryan's presence on the ticket gives Democrats an opening to attack his budget priorities. It virtually ensures that Medicare, and the changes Ryan wants to make, will be a major issue for the rest of the campaign.

President Obama leads in polls of Wisconsin, but Romney is making a play for the state. It's unclear if Ryan, who is from Janesville and has never run statewide, could help.

Romney hinted at his choice in an interview this week with NBC when he said he would pick someone who has "a vision for the country that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country."

Romney's stop in Norfolk kicks off a four-day tour of four crucial swing states: Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

Ryan on Friday attended funerals of victims of the shootings at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis. He had put out word that he was going on a camping vacation to Colorado with his family this weekend.

Wisconsin law allows Ryan to run simultaneously for vice president and for re-election to his House seat.

A Republican source said Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a finalist for the slot, had been called and told he was not going to be named.

Billy House contributed.

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Rebecca Kaplan is a staff writer (White House) for National Journal.

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