Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney hit the stump


ASHLAND, Va. — Mitt Romney praised Paul Ryan’s character and ability to work across the aisle, then said Democrats were combing through his new running mate’s record because they are running a deeply divisive campaign that has denigrated the presidency.

“I know that the Democrats are working very hard today. They’re pulling out their books, they’re looking at every vote, they’re interviewing everybody in his neighborhood. They’re not going to find anything but they’re doing all that work. They’re getting ready because their campaign has been all about bringing America’s perspective on this race as low as they possibly can make it,” Romney told about 2,500 screaming supporters Saturday afternoon in a college gym. “This is a man who appeals to the better angels of the American people. Asks us to lift ourselves. We’re going to talk about issues and a vision for America and not drag down in the dirt like you’re seeing from the Obama campaign.”

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“You see, we love America! We love America! We’re not going to besmirch the office of the presidency by succumbing to the kind of attacks … and charges that are coming from the Democrats,” Romney continued, echoing a charge one of his top advisors leveled the prior day. “We’re going to keep talking about what has to be done to restore the greatness of America. And that includes to have faith in our institutions, restore trust in them. And this man and I are not going to in any way, in any day, lose your trust. We will honor ... the responsibility you give us as the leaders of your party.”

The rally came hours after Romney named Ryan his vice presidential running mate. The two men have a 23-year age gap – Ryan is the same age as Romney’s eldest son. But they appeared to have a warm and easy chemistry.

“I’m happy today,” Romney told the crowd. “I hope you’re happy. I’m happy today.”

Vice presidential picks are typically cheerleaders for their ticket mate and prominent critics of their rivals, and Ryan showed he can do both as he spoke before Romney.

“I’ve some good news and I’ve got some bad news. Why don’t we get rid of the bad news first, OK?” Ryan said. “President Obama is the president of the United States. And the good news is, on Nov. 6, he won’t be any longer.”

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