Ryan grew up with a pretty normal family life, which came crashing down when at 16, he found his father dead of a heart attack. His ailing grandmother then moved in with the remaining family while Paul's mother commuted to Madison to attend college. He spent a good part of those early teen years caring for his grandmother.
After high school, Ryan attended Miami University of Ohio where he majored in economics and political science. He served as an intern in the United States Senate and was later a staff economist for Senator Bob Kasten. Ryan subsequently worked for Empower America, for the late former Senator Jack Kemp and for Senator Sam Brownback. He returned to Wisconsin and worked for a family company until he ran for the United States Congress in 1998.
Prior to being selected as Governor Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012, Ryan served as the chairman of the House Budget Committee where he developed a reputation as a fiscal and social conservative and as having a passion for limiting spending and reducing the federal deficit.
Policy Positions of Interest to Fathers:
- Opposes abortion and is staunchly pro-life
- Supports the Defense of Marriage Act
- Opposed paid parental leave for federal employees
- Supported reducing the "marriage tax"
- Supports gun rights and opposes gun control measures
- Opposes Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but supports other reform measures
- Supports limited privatization of social security
- Supports the Bush-era tax cut extensions and phasing out of the "death tax"
- Supported responsible fatherhood initiatives through faith-based organizations
Paul Ryan Quotes on Fatherhood and Families:
"I support the rights of the unborn child. Personally, I believe that life begins at conception, and it is for that reason that I feel we need to protect that life as we would protect other children." [OnTheIssues.com]
"We have responsibilities, one to another - we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves. Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government - to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society." [ShallowNation.com]