Ryan's life offers stark contrast to Romney's
Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is Capitol Hill's ultimate self-made man. He began as a 19-year-old intern delivering congressional mail and propelled himself upward with a mastery of wonky detail and a talent for cultivating powerful mentors.
Ryan is now a seven-term congressman, a committee chairman and the chief architect of GOP ideas on Medicare, the budget and the national debt. Ryan's big ideas bear the stamp of his own story: They stress independence and self-reliance, the qualities that took him from the mailroom to a spot on his party's presidential ticket. What government owes its citizens, Ryan says, is not a guarantee of happiness – only a fair shot to pursue it.
"He lost his father early and had to grow up sooner than he wanted to," said Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. "That certainly has informed his policies and his outlook. We're better off looking inward ... individual responsibility is where it's at."
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