Paul Ryan: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know

Get to know Mitt Romney’s running mate — 42-year-old Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the first Gen-Xer to join a presidential ticket.

1. He’s a Winner

Ryan has won seven elections in Wisconsin’s 1st District. He was first elected to Congress at age 28, the second-youngest rep of all time.

2. He Was a Wiener

During college, Ryan worked for Oscar Mayer as a salesman and sometimes drove the Wienermobile.

3. He’s a Catholic

For the first time a presidential ticket of a major party will not include a Protestant. (Romney is a Mormon.) Vice President Joe Biden also is Catholic, so it’ll be an all-Catholic Vice Presidential Debate.

4. Heart Attacks Run in his Family

At age 16 Ryan discovered his dad dead from a heart attack. His grandfather and great-grandfather also died that way. Now Ryan, 42, is a fitness freak and former personal trainer who leads a P90X workout for other congressmen.

5. His Budget Gets its Balls Busted

Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan is the architect of the “Path to Prosperity” budget plan, which makes drastic changes to Medicare. He’s a hero to fiscal conservatives and a villain to liberals. His choice as running mate thrusts his budget into the spotlight of the presidential race and makes it a ripe target for Obama campaign strategists.

6. He’s a Dad

Ryan is married with three kids, Charles, Samuel and Elizabeth

7. He Was a Stud & a Suck-up

Ryan was prom king in high school but also was voted “biggest brown noser.” He was class president in his junior year.

8. He Comes Up with the Cash

Ryan is a kickass fundraiser who raised $3.1 million in the first quarter of this fiscal year alone.

9. He’s a Word Whiz

Perhaps not a legendary orator the caliber of Obama, he is famously well-spoken and well-prepared — a useful complement to Romney’s gaffe-prone bumbling. He was a speechwriter for Jack Kemp’s conservative nonprofit Empower America organization.

10. He Paid for College with Social Security

While liberals say his plan threatens to destroy public programs like Social Security, Ryan, ironically, saved survivor’s benefits after the death of his dad to pay for tuition at Miami University. He double-majored in economics and political science and was a frat boy in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

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