Paul Ryan biography

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U.S. Representative Paul Ryan is a Republican from Wisconsin known for his conservative positions. In the 2012 presidential election, Ryan was the running mate of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was defeated by President Barack Obama.

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Republican Congressman Paul Ryan was born on January 29, 1970, in Janesville, Wisconsin. He became interested in government after reading novels by Ayn Rand. Ryan has been serving as the U.S. representative of Wisconsin's Congressional District 1 since 1999. He currently chairs the House Budget Committee and is considered a fiscally conservative voice in the Republican Party. In the 2012 presidential election,


"None of us have to settle for the best [the Obama] administration offers—a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us."

– Paul Ryan

"Do we believe that the goal of government is to promote equal opportunity for all Americans to make the most of their lives? Or, do we now believe that government's role is to equalize the results of peoples lives?"

– Paul Ryan

"Borrowing and spending is not the way to prosperity."

– Paul Ryan

"Hiding spending doesn't reduce spending."

– Paul Ryan

Ryan was the vice-presidential running mate of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who ultimately lost the election to Democratic President Barack Obama.

Early Life

Paul Davis Ryan was born on January 29, 1970, in Janesville, Wisconsin. His father, Paul Ryan Sr., worked as an attorney, and his mother, Betty Ryan, was a stay-at-home mom. Ryan has one sister, Janet, and two brothers, Tobin and Stan.

After graduating from Miami University in Ohio with a degree in economics and political science in 1992, Paul Ryan began working as a marketing consultant for a family-run branch of a Wisconsin construction company. He entered politics a few years later, working as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Bob Kasten, and later for Senator Sam Brownback and New York Republican Representative Jack Kemp.

Ryan became interested in government after reading the literature of Ayn Rand; Ryan has said that he agrees with Rand's "objectivist" philosophy, relating her philosophy to a fight of "individualism versus collectivism," but later stated that he rejects Rand's philosophy because he believes it's based on atheism. According to an August 2012 article in The New Yorker, Ryan said of Rand, "I reject her philosophy. It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person's view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas."

Early Political Career

In 1998, at age 28, Ryan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Wisconsin's Congressional District 1. In addition to continuing to serve in that position, he currently chairs the House Budget Committee, and is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Since President Barack Obama took office in 2008, Ryan has criticized several of Obama's policies and spending plans, including the 2012-13 federal budget proposal.

2012 Election

On August 11, 2012, former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Ryan, a favorite of fiscal conservatives, as his running mate for vice president, via the Romney campaign's mobile phone application. The announcement ended months of media speculation over potential vice-presidential candidates for the 2012 election.

On August 28, 2012—the first day of the 2012 Republican National Convention, held in Tampa, Florida—Romney was officially named the Republican Party's presidential nominee for the election. (Romney had become the Republican Party's presumptive nominee in May 2012, dominating his competitors, including Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, in the primaries.) During the Republican National Convention, 2012 election candidates Romney and Ryan received support from several fellow Republican politicians, as well as wives Ann Romney and Janna Ryan, a former attorney who is now a stay-at-home mom.

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