Romney: 'Whoever is the nominee will have to consider Paul Ryan (as VP)'

Paul Ryan with Mitt Romney Image by Annie Scholz

Romney: 'Whoever is the nominee will have to consider Paul Ryan (as VP)'

By Matt Montgomery. CREATED Mar 30, 2012 - UPDATED: Mar 30, 2012

MILWAUKEE-  Mitt Romney is touring Wisconsin Friday through Tuesday for the presidential primary on Tuesday; carved time out of his day Friday to talk to Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure.

"I think people recognize that Wisconsin is another one of these great pivotal states," said the former Massachusetts governor.  "It's a very important state in this cycle, and that's probably a good thing."

Romney told the show that Wisconsin could go Republican or Democrat for the presidential election, so he is hoping to grow more Republican interest in the state ahead of November's presidential election. 

Romney praised Governor Walker for taking on unions, in what Romney refers to as "excesses that relate to pensions and retirement benefits.  Wisconsin isn't the only state fighting the battle, said Romney.  "It's tough on the folks in Wisconsin, but recognize other states are dealing the same issue and making progress."  He talked about New Jersey, Indiana and Massachusetts also fighting against union benefits to balance state budgets. 

The conversation shifted to Janesville Representative Paul Ryan, who endorsed Romney for president on Friday.  Romney side stepped the question of Ryan being on his short list for Vice President, if Romney wins the nomination.  "I'm confident that whoever is the nominee will have to consider Paul Ryan as one of those leading Republican lights that would be considered as part of a national ticket," said Romney.  "I'm not presumptuous enough to put together a list myself." 

Romney praised Paul for his confidence, brilliance and courage for putting together a 3.5 trillion budget plan, that passed in the House of Representative Thursday.

Romney said he wasn't concerned about not being in the state until Friday, because of his wife's campaign efforts and dumping more than $3 million into TV and radio ads before he arrived.

On Saturday, Romney plans to join Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in Waukesha at a Faith and Freedom Coalition forum.

Romney leads all GOP candidates for Tuesday's primary.

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