WAUKESHA, Wisconsin — Presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was treated to a hero’s welcome in his home state of Wisconsin Sunday night,
The 42-year-old “through and through” Wisconsinite wiped away tears as he took the stage to the soaring score from the movie Air Force One less than 36 hours after being named Mitt Romney’s running mate.
“Hi, Mom,” he shouted, drawing laughter from the audience the campaign said Secret Service put at over 10,000 at the Waukesha County Expo Center. “I’ll tell ya, I love Wisconsin. ”
Ryan’s hokey, midwest humor was on full display as he recounted his roots in Janesville, where he still lives on the same block he grew up on.
“My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, and a little Spotted Cow and some Miller’s,” he said in homage to his state. “I even think ice fishing is interesting.”
“I see my family over there — that’s half the stadium,” he joked. “I have lots of family.”
“I love you Paul,” interrupted a man. Without missing a beat, and with his voice cracking, an emotional Ryan replied, “I love you too man.”
“We are all brothers,” shouted another man a few minutes later. “You’re right, we are all brothers,” Ryan replied, adding with perfect comedic timing, “That wasn’t my brother who said that, actually.”
The welcome also was moving for Romney, who said he and his wife teared up as the crowd cheered for their favorite son.
“Tears filled my eyes, tears filled Ann’s eyes,” he recounted. “I’m not sure about the kids, but the rest of us felt very emotional.”