(Newsroom America) -- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has announced his "good friend" Paul Ryan will serve as his vice president running mate in the 2012 election.
Paul Davis Ryan, 42, has served as the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district for 14 years and is described as having one of the most influential voices on economic policy in the Republican Party.
Mr Romney announced the news at a rally in Norkfolk, Virginia, where he initially introduced Mr Ryan as "the next president of the United States" but which he soon corrected.
Congressman Ryan is a fiscal conservative, and set about immediately attacking President Obama's economic record, claiming he had overseen the "worst economic recovery in 70 years."
At a rally in Manassas, Virgina this evening, he praised the economic record of Mitt Romney while claiming President Obama would divide and distract the country to win by default.
Commentators said Paul Ryan was well known amongst the political junkies and inside the beltway but nationally he is not so well known.
A Rasmussen Reports poll which asked likely voters their opinion of Paul Ryan found 39 percent were favorable, 25 percent were unfavorable and 35 percent had no opinion.
The poll of 1000 voters on July 15 and 16 also found seven out of ten of Republicans liked him, but 42 percent of unaffiliated voters had no idea who Paul Ryan was. The margin of error was +/-3 percent.
Campaign Manager for Obama for America, Jim Messina, immediately attacked the economic record of Paul Ryan.
"Congressman Paul Ryan is best known as the author of a budget so radical The New York Times called it 'the most extreme budget plan passed by a House of Congress in modern times'.
"With Mitt Romney's support, Ryan would end Medicare as we know it and slash the investments we need to keep our economy growing -- all while cutting taxes for those at the very top," he said.