Mitt Romney’s VP, Paul Ryan, is well-known for his controversial budget proposal. Yet, there are many other interesting facts about the Congressman from Wisconsin that you may NOT know…
1. He’s An Avid Bow Hunter & Catfish Canoodler!
Paul Ryan loves bow hunting for deer and turkey — and he’s actually rather good at it. Yet, he’s also into catfish canoodling, which involves sticking his arm down a catfish’s throat and pulling it out of the water with his bare hands! Friends describe him as a “hunting-obsessed gym rat,” says the NY Times. He even asked his wife, Janna, to marry him during a family fly-fishing trip in Germain, Wisconsin.
2. He Leads Congress In Morning P90X Sessions.
Paul Ryan is known as a fitness buff on Capitol Hill. Every morning, he leads several fellow members of Congress in a grueling P90X workout. Here he is pictured with P90X founder, Tony Horton. Rumor on the street is that Ryan hides a six-pack beneath his work shirt. Ryan’s father, Paul Sr., died of a heart attack at 55. Both his grandfather and great-grandfather also died of heart attacks in their fifties. Romney’s running mate hopes to defy genetics through his healthy lifestyle choices.
3. He was a real go-getter in school.
In high school, Paul Ryan won “prom king” and was dubbed “the biggest brown-noser” in the school yearbook. He played varsity soccer, ran track, and participated in ski club. He was in student council, Latin Club, the International Geographic Society, the Outdoors Club, the Ushers Club, the Pep Club, the Letterman’s Club and Model U.N. (You can see more photos of young Ryan at The Daily Beast.) While studying at Miami University, Ryan was in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
4. He lives in a historic home.
Ryan owns a home in the same town where he graduated high school. His $420,000 Georgian Revival home is on the National Register of Historic Places. The 6-bedroom, 7-bathroom house in the Courthouse Hill district has lion door knockers. His backyard contains three patio tables with umbrellas, red and white cushioned chairs, a red flower garden, and two brown hunting dogs. It’s a quiet, friendly neighborhood, the LA Times reports.
5. He had a lot of odd jobs.
The most famous story about Paul Ryan is that he drove the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in high school, although it is NOT TRUE, he says. In reality, he was promoting Lunchables and the new turkey bacon when the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile girls let him take their ride for a spin. Even though he had plenty of money in benefits from his father’s death, he worked odd jobs in high school. He is someone who overcame adversity to be someone. According to Ryan, the manager at McDonald’s didn’t think he had the social skills to work the counter, so he worked the grill. He served drinks at the Tortilla Coast restaurant and was a personal trainer at the Washington Sport and Health Club as well.
6. He never stops working.
When Paul Ryan was first elected to Congress, he held office hours in an old truck that he converted into an office so he could stay in touch with rural Wisconsin. He is also known as one of the tireless workers on Capitol Hill who catches a few Zzz’s on a cot in his office.
7. He listens to his iPod to avoid annoying reporters.
Ryan admits he’s ducked away from reporters by playing everything from Led Zeppelin to Beethoven on his iPod. This eclectic Gen X-er admitted to Squawk Box interviewers that he had been listening to Filter. It’s also been reported that he loves Rage Against The Machine!
8. He was inspired by Jack Kemp… and Ayn Rand?
Washington Post reported that Ryan gave staffers copies of Atlas Shrugged as Christmas gifts back in 2003 and told a group of Rand fans that Ayn Rand was the reason he got involved in public service, saying: “The fight we are in here…. is about individualism versus collectivism.” However, he later told the National Review that he read her books when he was young, which spurred his interest in economics and Milton Friedman, but he is not an Objectionist. He clarifies that Rand has “an atheist philosophy” that he rejects.
Instead, Paul Ryan offers Jack Kemp as his true mentor. During his 20s, Ryan worked as a speechwriter for Kemp, who became something of a father figure for the young gun. He recalls, “Jack Kemp is what sucked me into public policy, public service, and politics. He called it the battle of ideas, and I just really got into it.”
9. He’s known as an intellectual policy wonk.
The “Path to Prosperity” is the title of the budget Ryan first authored in 2011, which won him the love and adoration of Tea Partiers and Conservatives alike. It called for a 50 percent decrease in government spending, the elimination of taxes on overseas profits, a reduction in taxes for all income levels, transforming Medicare into a state voucher program, and dismantling Obama’s healthcare legislation.
10. He is a “Wisconsinite” through and through.
Born in Janesville 1970, Romney’s running mate is a fifth-generation Wisconsinite. “My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, a little Spotted Cow, Leiney’s, and some Miller,” Ryan said in his homecoming speech as he announced his vice presidential candidacy. “I was raised on the Packers, Badgers, Bucks and Brewers. I like to hunt here, I like to fish here, I like to snowmobile here. I even think ice fishing is interesting. I’m a Wisconsinite through and through, and I just got to tell you how much this means to be home.”