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'I was asked to serve the country': Family helps Ryan make his decision

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Marcia Nelesen
August 12, 2012

— Paul Ryan said his family helped him decide to accept Mitt Romney’s offer to be the Republicans’ candidate for vice president.

“We thought this was the right thing for the country, and we could do a lot to (get it) on the right track,” Ryan said.

Ryan called The Gazette about 6 pm. Saturday as he and his family were boarding a plane for a campaign stop early today in North Carolina.

Earlier Saturday, Romney announced Ryan as his running mate. Ryan said the reporter he called at his hometown newspaper was the only one he’d spoken to all day.

“I dedicated much of my life to public service,” he said, adding that this is a crucial time for the country.

The decision surprised some because his three children are young and because of the influence he wields as head of the House Budget Committee.

“I believe it’s a very crucial moment for our country, and when our nominee asked me to serve with him, you have a sense of duty and patriotism that overcomes you,” he said. “I was asked to serve the country, and I will.”

Ryan believes he and Romney can fix the country’s problems “before they get out of control.”

The two have gotten to know each other well in the past year, Ryan said.

Romney told Ryan they share values and that Ryan can help him achieve his goals, Ryan said.

Ryan’s children will start school in Janesville at the end of August. They and Ryan’s wife, Janna, will join Ryan when they can on the campaign trail.

Ryan has been commuting to Washington, D.C., but the family would move there if he becomes vice president.

They would keep the family home in Janesville, he said.

Ryan mentioned his hometown in his acceptance speech Saturday.

“I’m very proud of Janesville and very thankful of what this community has offered me,” he said Saturday night. “This community has offered me the opportunity to serve.

“Janesville is such a big part of who I am,” Ryan said. “It’s where I was born and raised, where we raise our family. I have such an incredible love of the town.

“It’s the center of my life.”



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