10 interesting facts about Paul Ryan

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will name Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va. Here are 10 interesting facts about the Wisconsin congressman:

10.) Ryan’s father died of a heart attack at 55 when Ryan was 16. Both Ryan’s grandfather and great grandfather died of heart attacks in their late 50s.

9.) Ryan worked for Oscar Meyer while in college and even drove the Wienermobile.

8.) He was elected to Congress in 1998 at the age of 28.

7.) He’s a big fan of Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand — even saying that he has made Rand’s magnum opus “Atlas Shrugged” required reading for his staff and interns. Recently, however, the Catholic Ryan noted that he didn’t subscribe to Rand’s atheist philosophy, at least not in its totality.

6.) Before being elected to Congress, Ryan worked as a speechwriter for Jack Kemp, the late New York congressman and vice-presidential candidate in 1996.

5.) Though considered a fiscal hawk, Ryan voted the Medicare Part D prescription drug expansion in 2003. To the consternation of some in the tea party, he also voted for both the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Wall Street bailout and the auto bailouts. He explained the reasons behind many of these votes in an interview with The Daily Caller.

4.) Ryan previously worked as a fitness trainer in Washington, and he leads a group of congressmen in the workout P90X when Congress is in session.

3.) Ryan is best known for his conservative budget plan, “The Path to Prosperity.” The plan has passed the House of Representatives — albeit in slightly different iterations — the past two years with almost all Republicans and no Democrats voting for it. The plan drastically reforms Medicare and has been demagogued by the left — one liberal ad in 2011 even went so far as to depict a Ryan look-alike pushing an old lady off a cliff.

2.) Ryan told Politico’s Mike Allen that his worst habit is that he drinks “two cups of coffee every morning.” Romney, whose Mormon religion forbids him from drinking coffee, will likely not be joining Ryan in his “vice” on the campaign trail.

1.) A PPP poll from July suggests Ryan could help Romney win Wisconsin. In a generic match-up between Romney and Obama, the poll showed Obama up six percentage points. But when Ryan was listed as Romney’s running mate, Ryan narrowed the gap for Romney by 5 percentage points, making it a 1 percentage point race in Obama’s favor.

Correction: The article has been updated to reflect the Mormon Church forbids coffee, not necessarily caffeine. 

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