Vice President Biden called Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Saturday to congratulate him on being selected as Mitt Romney’s running mate and to “welcome him to the race,” according to a statement from the Obama campaign.
Biden “urged Congressman Ryan to enjoy the day with his family, and said he looked forward to engaging him on the clear choice voters face this November,” the statement said.
The vice president, who is spending the weekend in Delaware after taking a week of down time, is scheduled to return to the campaign trail Monday.
Biden is expected to visit North Carolina and Virginia.
Biden has had warm words for the seven-term GOP lawmaker before. In a speech in June, Biden called Ryan a “a bright, handsome guy from the state of Wisconsin. He’s a fine guy.” But Biden was quick to add, “I I think his ideas are not nearly as fine as he is a man.”
Biden has been a tough critic of Ryan’s budget plan, which would cut $5 trillion in spending and turn Medicare into a subsidized private-insurance model. Democrats hope to make it a central issue in the election.
President Obama ignored questions about Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate as he boarded Marine One to leave the White House on Saturday.
According to the White House pool report, the president did not respond to questions shouted as he walked to the helicopter. He did wave to a small crowd nearby gathered for the takeoff.
While the president has yet to comment directly on the selection, Vice President Joe Biden called the Wisconsin lawmaker earlier Saturday to congratulate him on his selection.
And Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement Saturday that in picking Ryan, Romney had “rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy.”
“In naming Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy,” Messina said. ”The architect of the radical Republican House budget, Ryan, like Romney, proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid. His plan also would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors.”
From the White House, President Obama headed to Andrews Air Force Base, where he’ll pick up a plane to Chicago. Obama does not currently have any other events on his public schedule Saturday, but will speak Sunday at a campaign event in Chicago. The president also plans to host a fundraiser at his Hyde Park family home Sunday night.
Source: The Hill