UK & World News
Mitt Romney Confirms Paul Ryan As VP Choice
US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked congressman Paul Ryan to be his running-mate to help him try to win the White House race.
Mr Romney's campaign announced the vice-presidential (VP) selection to supporters via an iPhone app message.
Speaking later at the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia, Mr Romney praised his running-mate as "a person of great steadiness, whose integrity is unquestioned and whose word is good".
"Paul Ryan works in Washington, but his beliefs remain firmly rooted in Janesville, Wisconsin," Mr Romney said.
"Paul is in public life for all the right reasons. Not to advance his personal ambition, but to advance the ideals of freedom and justice, and to increase opportunity and prosperity for people of every class and faith, every age and ethnic background."
Speaking after Mr Romney in Virginia, Mr Ryan attacked President Barack Obama's economic record.
"Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney is about to replace. No one disputes that President Obama inherited a difficult situation," Mr Ryan said.
"And in his first two years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda.
"But that didn't make things better. In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt and despair. This is the worst economic recovery in 70 years.
"Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure."
Mr Romney's VP announcement comes at the start of a four-state bus tour, and as he tries to repair an image damaged by negative Democrat advertising in a race that has seen him lose ground to President Obama ahead of November's election.
He has also suffered a series of gaffes in recent weeks, including raising questions about London's Olympics preparations, and wrongly referring to the scene of a recent deadly gun attack at a Sikh place of worship as a 'sheik' temple.
Jon-Christopher Bua, Sky News US Political Analyst, said: "With the choice of Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney is attempting to turn the discussion to economic policy and away from any potentially damaging personal issues that have arisen over the last few months.
"Mr Ryan is the 'darling' of Republican fiscal conservatives but his proposed budget cuts to medicare and social security may cost Mitt the senior vote in key battleground states like Florida."
The timing of his VP choice means Mr Romney will have his running-mate by his side during a bus tour through Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio, four states that Mr Obama won in 2008 but are being closely contested this time around.
Mr Ryan, 42, is viewed by some in the Republican Party as a bridge between the party establishment and conservative activists that have never warmed to Mr Romney.
As the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Mr Ryan could help Mr Romney, 65, make the argument that only the Republican ticket knows how to turn around a nation in the midst of a sluggish economic recovery.
The Wisconsin congressman is behind a House of Representatives-backed budget plan that seeks to curb overall entitlement spending and changes government health insurance for the elderly and poor into a voucher-like system to save costs.
Democrats this week criticised Mr Romney for embracing the proposal that critics say is painful to the poor and elderly.