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Obama: Paul Ryan is the "ideological leader" of Republicans

Speaking about Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick for the first time, Obama praised Ryan as a decent family man.

Image: The White House via Flickr/Creative Commons

US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has described Mitt Romney’s pick for vice presidential running mate as the “ideological leader” of the Republicans in Congress.

Obama criticised Paul Ryan’s approach to tackling the US budget and said he fundamentally disagreed with Ryan’s vision for the country.

He also described the 41-year-old congressman as a decent family man and welcomed him to the race for president, three months before the November election.

Obama spoke as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made their first public appearances together at the weekend and sought to create a clear divide between their ticket and Obama.

Romney attacked Obama for making the United States “more and more like Europe”  with “chronic high unemployment, low wage growth and fiscal calamity right at the door”.

“I’ve got good news for you. And that is that this nation is going go come roaring back,” Romney told a rally at a stock car racing event in North Carolina yesterday.

The two sides have clashed over the issue of state-provided medical care for older people, which Romney and Ryan have said needs to be fixed before it goes broke.  In response the Obama campaign has released a video supporting the current system.

Barack Obama went on a number of talk shows in the US yesterday to further his claims that Romney and Ryan are intent on dismantling key welfare entitlements such as pensions and healthcare.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan talking in the campaign bus on Sunday. (Photo: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

- Additional reporting by AFP

Read: Romney announces Irish-American congressman Ryan as VP pick >

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