Paul Ryan biography
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, Ryan was the vice-presidential running mate of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who ultimately lost the election to Democratic President Barack Obama.
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.
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.
Janna offered words of support for her husband with a brief speech, stating, "I just want to say thank you to the Romneys for welcoming me, my husband, Paul, and our three children on this journey. It's a tremendous honor to be America's comeback team with you all."
Paul Ryan took center stage on the second day of the Republican National Convention, with a lengthy speech to the Republican Party: "When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, 'Let's get this done.' And that is exactly what we are going to do," he stated.
As Ryan spoke, a camera shot taken by CBS News showed an emotional Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker—a political ally of the vice-presidential candidate—who appeared to have been moved to tears by the discourse. Not everyone, however, was equally moved: Ryan received criticism from many news outlets regarding the accuracy of his narrative, which was peppered with disparaging comments about President Barack Obama. Of President Obama and his administration, Ryan stated, "College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life ... 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."
The results of the election were announced on November 6, 2012: Romney was defeated by President Obama in a suspense-filled race that, early on, remained close. Obama won nearly 60 percent of the electoral vote, also winning the popular vote by more than 1 million ballots.
At age 16, Ryan discovered his 55-year-old father dead in his bed after suffering a heart attack. Ryan has credited his father's death with helping him understand 21st century American social service programs.
Ryan has been married to Janna (Little) Ryan since December 2000. They currently live in Janesville, Wisconsin with their three children: a daughter, Liza, and sons Sam and Charlie.