Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney appointed Paul Ryan, a Representative from Wisconsin, Rep. Paul Ryan, an ardent conservative and devoted budget cutter, as his vice presidential running mate on Saturday, and the two men immediately embarked on a tour of campaign battleground states vowing to defeat President Barack Obama and repair the long-ailing U.S. economy.
America is "a nation facing debt, doubt and despair," and a transformative change in leadership is vital, Ryan, a Wisconsin House Representative, declared to a flag-waving crowd in the first moments after Romney introduced him as his partner for the fall campaign.
"Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem... and Mitt Romney is the solution," said the seven-term lawmaker, who at 42 is a generation younger than Romney, 65.
Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee, the chief architect of deeply controversial budget plans and widely viewed by Republican lawmakers as an intellectual leader within the party.
Ryan's selection as well as Romney's own nomination will be ratified by delegates to the Republican National Convention that begins on August 27 in Tampa, Florida.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be nominated for a second term at the Democratic convention the following week.
Paul Ryan is considered a strong supporter of Israel by Israeli and American Jewish community leaders.
He visited Israel in 2005 as part of a large Republican Congressional delegation. He then visited the Lebanon border, and met politicians including then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
He has reportedly co-sponsored pro-Israel legislation, and has been very outspoken against Hamas, the Islamist group which governs the Gaza strip.
He wrote on his blog: “I believe at least one thing is clear: we cannot advocate for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that jeopardizes Israel’s safety or legitimizes terrorism. Hamas, which is one of the two major Palestinian political factions, is an Islamist terrorist group whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction, refuses to recognize Israel’s existence, and calls Osama Bin Laden a “martyr.”
“America should not pressure Israel to agree to a peace deal that is unlikely to result in peace and security. Real peace will require Palestinians to recognize that Israel has a right to exist, even as it will require two states for the two peoples,” he added.
Kory Bardash, chairman of Republicans Abroad in Israel, who met Ryan at a Republican summit in in June, called him "very enthusiastically pro-Israel and a political "superstar."