Romney & Ryan: The first interview

One day after choosing Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Rep. Ryan sit down for an interview with CBS News' Bob Schieffer

(CBS News) An enthusiastic crowd greeted presidential candidate Mitt Romney in High Point, N.C., on Sunday - the last leg of Gov. Romney's North Carolina bus tour and the first stop for Congressman Paul Ryan, who just yesterday was announced as Mr. Romney's vice presidential running mate.

Before the two headed off for another event in Wisconsin, they sat down with CBS News' chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer for their first interview as running mates. Asked to explain his choice of Rep. Ryan, Gov. Romney said: "This guy's a real leader . . . . He's reached across the aisle. He's worked with Democrats, Republicans. Tried to take on the toughest issues America faces."


The following script is from "Romney-Ryan" which aired on Aug. 12, 2012. Bob Schieffer is the correspondent. Robert Anderson and Mary Hager, producers.

In choosing Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has instantly remade his presidential campaign. Congressman Ryan, the energetic chairman of the House Budget committee, is the Republican master of all aspects of federal spending. And he comes complete with his own detailed conservative fiscal plan to remake the role of the federal government in everything from Medicare and Medicaid to tax policy and agriculture subsidies.

In naming Congressman Ryan, Gov. Romney has transformed the presidential campaign into an ideological battle. Earlier this afternoon, the candidates joined Bob Schieffer for their very first interview together at a furniture factory in High Point, N.C., where they'd been campaigning.

Bob Schieffer: Governor, I want to start with this, you have been going through this process of deciding who you wanted as your running mate for about three months, very methodical, all of it conducted in secret. What I would like to know was there one point where there was one moment when you said, "This is the guy. This is my guy."

Mitt Romney: Well, actually, you know, we've been working together for a while and, over the last year, Paul and I have come together on some policy issues and sat down and discussed those things. I was impressed with his understanding of the issues that we were facing and also his political acumen. But then we spent some time on the campaign trail. I got to meet his wife and three children and was very impressed. But the final decision, Bob, was not until really August 1st when I kept my mind open, but I was intrigued and inclined towards Paul for some time, but I kept my mind open, and then on August 1st it was time to make that final decision. I called Paul and said, "I'd like to meet you on Sunday." And, we sat down and made it happen.

Bob Schieffer: Well, what was it that did it?

Mitt Romney: Well, you know, this is a guy who's a real leader. There are a lot of people who go to Washington or go to their state houses with a personal ambition in mind. Paul had a very different course laid out for his life. And became convinced that he was needed to try and get the country back on track. And he has gone to Washington with a passion for making a difference.

Bob Schieffer: Has this sunk in on you yet?

Paul Ryan: It has. Because I've felt for a while now that our country is in a very perilous position. And I've done everything I could in my career as chairman of the Budget Committee to try and make a difference to tackle this economic and fiscal challenge before it tackles us. Sunday is when we had this conversation and it took a little while to sink in after that, but to see all Americans coming out to these rallies, hungry for solutions, hungry for people that provide leadership to get this country on the right track, I'm very excited about this.

Bob Schieffer: What do you--

Paul Ryan: And I really think we can turn this thing around.

Bob Schieffer: And what did the governor say when he offered you--

Paul Ryan: He essentially said--

Bob Schieffer: --the job?

Paul Ryan: --that we share the same values and that I have the kinds of experiences that complement his skills. That complement his experience. To help him govern. To execute a vision to get this country back on the right track. You know, to create jobs. To help people get back on the path in life.

Bob Schieffer: What did you say?

Paul Ryan: I said, "Yes."

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