Paul Ryan: Father, Fitness Buff, Zeppelin Fan

Rep. Paul Ryan is leading the news this week. Michele Norris looks at some interesting tidbits you may or may not know about him.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

While most of Washington is wrapped up with the drama over the current budget, we're going to take a minute now to tell you a little more about that lawmaker who rolled out a provocative proposal for 2012. Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin chairs the House Budget Committee.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

As we just discussed, his budget plan is a big departure from business as usual.

PAUL RYAN: It is not just a budget, it is a cause. It represents our choice for America's future. It represents our commitment to the American people. We aim to restore the dynamism that has defined America over generations.

BLOCK: We want to give you a sense of the man behind that message, a micro bio, sort of like a profile you could tick through in a few tweets. To start, Paul Ryan was elected to Congress in 1998, the youngest in his class. He was just 28.

NORRIS: He was born and still lives in Janesville, Wisconsin. When Paul Ryan was 16, his father died of a heart attack. He saved up the Social Security benefits he received up to his 18th birthday and used the money to help pay for college.

BLOCK: A young Paul Ryan worked for Oscar Meyer, and, yes, he drove a Wienermobile. And for those who've never seen it, it's a car shaped like a hot dog on a bun. Today, the congressman is married with three children.

NORRIS: He is such a passionate fan of the dystopian writer Ayn Rand that he requires staff members to read her 1,200-page novel "Atlas Shrugged."

BLOCK: Before his own election to the House, Ryan worked for two Republican senators. He also wrote speeches for drug czar William Bennett and for Jack Kemp during his 1996 vice presidential run. President Obama has complimented some of the congressman's proposals, calling them serious.

NORRIS: And a few lifestyle notes. Ryan is an extreme fitness buff. He leads several fellow congressmen on regular no mercy P90X workouts. He's a bow hunter and a fisherman. He proposed to his wife at one of his favorite fishing holes. And he's a Led Zeppelin fan.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.