NPR and other news outlets are reporing that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney's choice as running mate on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket.
Official word of the choice, which began leaking overnight, came early this morning from the Romney campaign via a smartphone app and a news release.
It's something of a surprise. While Ryan was on all the lists when it came time to speculate about who Romney might choose, the conventional wisdom had been saying it was more likely to be someone such as Ohio Sen. Rob Portman or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Ryan comes from a state with just 10 Electoral College votes. Ohio's 18 and Florida's 29 are much more valuable prizes.
But Ryan is a favorite of conservatives for his tough talk about tax cuts, spending cuts and fiscal discipline.
We'll have more about this and about Ryan, the 42-year-old chairman of the House Budget Committee who is nationally known for his championing of tax and spending cuts.
Update at 7:40 a.m. ET. NPR Interview:
In May 2011, Ryan sat down with NPR editors and correspondents. On The Two-Way, we led our live-blogging of that conversation with this:
One day after assailing Democrats for what he says are their "Medi-scare" political tactics, the author of the Republican plan to remake Medicare and Medicaid and cut the federal deficits and debts made the case that so far Republicans are "negotiating with ourselves" on those key issues because Democrats are the ones that won't enter the debate.
Update at 7:30 a.m. ET. Ryan Brings Risks And Rewards:
Last month, Morning Edition reported that:
"Ryan has youth and experience, he's a conservative from a swing state, and he has big ideas and the policy chops to back them up. But the chairman of the House Budget Committee would not be the safest of choices. ...
"Ryan's pedigree is strong. He worked on the staffs of Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and the late Republican luminary Jack Kemp. He won his own seat at 28, which means that now, at 42, he's a seasoned legislator.
"But it's Ryan's ideas that first catapulted him into political stardom. The budget plan he introduced in 2010, or the 'road map,' as he called it, ignited a major debate within Congress. ...
"Ryan's budget was instantly controversial. It called for sweeping cuts to social programs, and, most troubling for seniors, would have changed Medicare from a guaranteed benefit to a voucher program.
"Still, Republicans lined up behind it and rode the plan to a sweep of the House, giving Ryan the chairmanship of the Budget Committee. Within a few months, the House passed the Ryan budget (although the Senate did not).
"That's the kind of energy a Romney candidacy could use."
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