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“When Paul Ryan says his priority is to make sure that we’re, you know — that he’s just being America’s accountant and trying to be responsible. … I mean, this is the same guy who voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription-drug bill that costs as much as my health care bill — but wasn’t paid for,” he said.

Mr. Ryan has never hesitated to defend himself and go on offense against the president with detailed budget numbers and some sharp rhetorical jabs.

Campaigning with Mr. Romney in Virginia just after introducing himself to the nation, Mr. Ryan accused Mr. Obama’s campaign of going from a 2008 run based on “hope and change” to one of “attack and blame.”

Mr. Ryan was more blunt earlier this year in assessing Mr. Obama’s negative campaign strategy.

“Rather than building bridges, he’s poisoning wells,” he said. “Exploiting people’s emotions of fear, envy and anxiety is not hope; it’s not change. It’s partisanship. We don’t need partisanship. We don’t need demagoguery. We need solutions. And we don’t need to keep punting to other people to make tough decisions.”