NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has chosen his vice presidential running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
The two appeared together for the first time as the Republican presidential ticket on Saturday morning in Virginia.
Romney says Ryan is a man of what he calls "great steadiness" and "unquestioned integrity." The former Massachusetts governor says Ryan is a "shining exception" in a political world of pettiness.
They faced supporters while standing on the USS Wisconsin, a retired World War II battleship.Just hours after his campaign confirmed Ryan as his selection, Romney says Ryan won't demonize his opponents. Romney says that Democrats may disagree with Ryan's policies, but he doesn't know anyone who doesn't respect his character and judgment.
It's a "bold choice," says Nick Langworthy, chairman of the Erie County Republican Party. Langworthy says Ryan has always been respected as someone with ideas for the future.
"Someone that's really looking toward solutions to the explosive federal deficit that our country has been mired in, and is for the years to come. especially with the president's failed policies," he says.
Langworthy says he doesn't think that anyone else knows more about the federal budget -- and the debt the nation has incurred -- than Ryan.
Langworthy says he'll be in Tampa for the nomination convention at the end of the month.
Ryan: Obama has 'record of failure'
Ryan is attacking President Barack Obama for what he calls a "record of failure."
The seven-term congressman says Obama has led the "worst economic recovery in 70 years." He notes that unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years - the longest stretch since the Great Depression.
He spoke in remarks prepared for delivery at the first public appearance of the new GOP ticket.
Ryan, the architect of a controversial budget plan, is promising not to "duck the tough issues." And he says he has the courage to tell the truth.
Romney stumbles in running mate announcement
With the political world watching, Romney misspoke while introducing his running mate.
Romney mistakenly introduced Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on Saturday as the next president of the United States. Ryan, of course, has been tapped to serve as Romney's vice presidential nominee.
It was the first time they appeared together as the Republican presidential ticket.
A sheepish Romney puts arms around Ryan and clarified his mistake before Ryan took the microphone.
Romney says that he makes a mistake every once in a while. But he says he didn't make a mistake with his selection of Ryan.
Four years earlier, President Obama did something similar in his announcement of Joe Biden as his running mate.
Obama team: Romney, Ryan would hurt middle class
President Barack Obama's campaign says Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate shows a commitment to "budget-busting tax cuts" for the wealthy and "greater burdens" on the middle class and seniors.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina calls Ryan is the "architect of the radical Republican House budget" proposal and says the plan "would end Medicare as we know it."
The Obama campaign said Saturday the Republican ticket would return the nation to "reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy."
Democrats are expected to seize upon Ryan's authorship of a House-backed budget plan that would curb overall entitlement spending and changes Medicare into a voucher-like system.
The president is traveling to Chicago on Saturday but had no public events planned.