Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan got a hero’s welcome from his colleagues on Thursday as he returned to the Capitol for the first time since being named by Mitt Romney to the GOP ticket.
The Wisconsin lawmaker was greeted with hugs and shouts, posed for photos with colleagues and took some good-natured ribbing about his newfound national status.
Ryan returned to Washington to vote on a six-month spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, the last major piece of legislation likely to be voted on before the election.
For Ryan, the scene presented a stark contrast from his last visit to the Capitol, when he cast votes in early August before his selection as Romney’s running mate made him a household name. Nearly a dozen security guards surrounded him as he entered shortly before 4:30 p.m., and they cleared a path through a line of reporters who followed his every move.
Ryan smiled and greeted reporters throughout the nearly two hours he spent in the Capitol, but he ignored substantive policy questions. He did allow a few remarks on his music and workout tastes, and as he left the building he predicted his Green Bay Packers would defeat President Obama’s hometown Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
GOP lawmakers rushed to House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office to greet the man who could leapfrog Boehner in the line of succession to the presidency.
After the meeting, a beaming Boehner walked Ryan to the door of the House chamber where he was greeted with shouts.
Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, is the first sitting House member to be selected as a presidential running mate since Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.
“I’m just here to see some friends,