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Entries in Breaking News (3)

Saturday
Aug112012

Mitt Romney Selects Rep. Paul Ryan as VP Running Mate

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NORFOLK, Va.) -- Mitt Romney rolled out his vice presidential running mate for the first time in the critical swing state of Virginia on Saturday.

Early Saturday morning, Romney's campaign announced the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House Budget Committee chairman who has energized fiscal conservatives with his budget proposals and sweeping plans for entitlement reform.

Romney and Ryan appeared together as running mates for the first time in Norfolk, Va., at a morning rally in front of the battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin.

WATCH: Mitt Romney Selects Paul Ryan as Running Mate
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"I am deeply excited and honored to join you as your running mate," Ryan said.

"Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history. Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim; and they need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment; and he and I share one commitment: we will restore the dreams and greatness of this country," Ryan said.

WATCH: Paul Ryan 'Deeply Honored' to Join Mitt Romney as Running Mate
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Ryan is already viewed as a high-risk, high-reward pick for Romney, who had also considered former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, for the ticket. Romney notified Portman personally on Friday that he was not the choice for VP, ABC's Gregory Simmons reported. Pawlenty spent time with Romney's son Tagg on Friday, ABC's Shushannah Walsh reported, and had learned by early Saturday morning that Ryan had been selected.

The Wisconsin congressman has made waves in national politics with his proposal to drastically alter the federal Medicare program--a suggestion that has been roundly attacked by Democrats including President Obama. Ryan's plan would nearly voucherize the program, ending Medicare's fee-for-service model and replacing payments to doctors with "premium-support payments" made directly to Medicare beneficiaries, with more money given to beneficiaries who can afford less.

The changes are projected to reduce Medicare spending significantly compared to projections of what taxpayers will have to pay for under current law, and the Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that beneficiaries will be saddled with a greater cost burden over time.

The Norfolk rally kicks off a bus tour for Romney through the swing state of Virginia, which Obama carried in 2008. On Saturday, Romney (and presumably Ryan) will continue on to Ashland and Manassas for a day of rallies that will last into the evening.

WATCH: Why Did Mitt Romney Choose Paul Ryan?
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For months, Ryan, a seven-term Republican from Janesville, Wis., has danced around the VP question, refusing to comment on the vetting process and insisting that his focus is on his responsibilities in the House of Representatives.

Ryan has appeared publicly on the campaign trail alongside Romney multiple times, including an event in Janesville on June 18. He also attended a Romney fundraising weekend retreat in Utah last month and stumped on Romney's behalf more recently in Normal, Ill., on July 13.

"What I see in Mitt Romney are the kinds of skills, tools, character attributes that you need in a leader. He makes decisions. He doesn't pander," Ryan said at the Reagan Library in May.

Ryan is a popular pick inside the Republican Party, where he's often praised as an ideas man after drafting the GOP's budget known as the Path to Prosperity, which overhauls entitlements and cuts spending in an effort to reduce the deficit.

But across the aisle, Democrats have been sizing up Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, as an easy target for his controversial ideas to address the deficit. Still, Ryan has not shied away from his budget blueprint. He recently told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the election will turn on the economy and health care.

"This election is a choice of two futures: Do you want a government-centered society and a government-driven economy and government-rationed health care? Or do you want the American opportunity society with a safety net, a free economy, economic freedom, personal liberty?" Ryan said on This Week July 1. "That's what we want. That's the American idea. We have one more chance as a people to get that back, and that chance is going to come on November the 6th."

Ryan and his wife Janna have three children, Elizabeth, Charles and Samuel. He earned a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio. Before running for Congress, he was an aide to Republican senators Robert Kasten Jr. and Sam Brownback, as well as to former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, and was also a speechwriter for education secretary William Bennett.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr102012

Rick Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign

ABC News(GETTYSBURG, Pa.) -- Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign Tuesday in a speech to supporters in his home state.

The announcement comes the day after Santorum's 3-year-old daughter Bella was released from the hospital -- her second trip this year. Bella suffers from a rare and often fatal disorder called Trisomy 18.

"This was a time for prayer and thought over this past weekend," Santorum said. "Just like it was when we decided to get into this race... we were very concerned about our role of being the best parents we possibly could to our kids," Santorum said of the kitchen-table discussion with his family before he launched his campaign.

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Santorum said he balanced his desire to be a good father with his desire to do something positive for the country. He mentioned Bella and her condition as one of the reasons he joined the race -- to look out for Americans like her, who he said are "left behind."

"While this presidential campaign is over for me, we are going to continue fighting for those voices," Santorum told a sedate crowd in Gettysburg, Pa.

Santorum waged a scrappy and unexpectedly strong campaign for the Republican nomination, essentially moving to Iowa before narrowly winning the caucus there. Barely registering on opinion polls throughout 2007, he was the first candidate to visit all of the state's 99 counties. He built his campaign around engaging audiences in town hall meetings, often wearing a sweater vest and uttering his campaign battle cry, "Game on."

But like many of his stronger showings in the primaries, Santorum's Iowa victory was marred by some bad luck; party officials there initially called Mitt Romney the narrow victor on caucus night, only to later give the nod to Santorum.

In total, Santorum has won 10 presidential preference contests. That's one fewer than Romney carried in his losing bid in 2008. Santorum has recently compared his current run to Ronald Reagan's 1976 bid. Reagan carried his attempt to unseat President Gerald Ford all the way to the Republican convention that year. Ford eventually got the nomination, but lost the general election to Democrat Jimmy Carter. Reagan was the Republican nominee four years later in 1980 and became a two-term president.

"Miracle after miracle this race was as improbable as any race you will ever see for president," Santorum said Tuesday.

Santorum became the main conservative alternative to Romney, but Romney and his allies outgunned Santorum in television advertising and out-maneuvered him in the delegate race.

Party elders had begun to coalesce around Romney and urged Santorum to end his campaign in recent days.

Santorum didn't mention Romney or the need to coalesce as he ended his campaign, focusing instead on his family.

Romney, in a statement, said Santorum had been an able competitor.

"Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran. He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation," wrote Romney. "We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity."

Santorum's move makes Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has a commanding delegate lead, the all but certain Republican nominee, although Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul both remain actively in the race.

Gingrich praised Santorum in a statement, but said he has no plans to leave the contest before the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan102012

Mitt Romney Projected to Win New Hampshire Primary

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- ABC News projects that Mitt Romney will win the nation's first primary in New Hampshire, marking the first time since 1976 that a Republican candidate has won the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary back to back.

Based on the exit poll data and ABC News' analysis of the vote in so far, Rep. Ron Paul is projected to be second and Jon Huntsman will place third.

Crowds at Romney's gathering in New Hampshire erupted in cheers as the results were announced.

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In a race in which electability was the top concern for voters, most picked the former Massachusetts governor as the GOP candidate most likely to beat President Obama. Underscoring GOP unhappiness with the current administration, exit polls showed that eight in 10 New Hampshire primary voters were either dissatisfied or downright angry with the Obama administration, mainly stemming from economic discontent.

Independents turned out in greater-than-usual numbers in the primaries, a trend that could bode well for Romney in November if he nabs the nomination. Independent voters are expected to play a crucial role in this swing state for both the incumbent president and his challenger. 

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Exit polls showed that concerns about electability, economic discontent and a less conservative but more divided base than in Iowa last week helped shape the New Hampshire primary.

Though experts say the race is far from decided, the Granite State has a good track record of picking the eventual nominee on the Republican side.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio