TAMPA, Fla. — Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, dropped by a Wisconsin delegation party today, just a few hours before he will formally accept his nomination and address the national GOP convention.
Ryan stepped on stage, which is already set up for a Kid Rock concert tonight, and surprised the home state crowd that was munching on brats, sipping beer and swaying to the tunes of the Swinging Bavarians.
Standing alongside his wife, Janna, the native of Janesville thanked the delegation for making the trip down and pumped up the crowd with brief remarks.
"Coming out of Tampa, we're going to give the country a very clear choice that we deserve," he said. "I can't tell you how proud I am of Wisconsin, how proud I am of our leaders who stepped up in Wisconsin."
Those in attendance included Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Sean Duffy and former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Ryan gave a shout-out to Thompson, who is running for Senate.
"I have to give a speech later tonight, so I'm going to save my voice," said Ryan, who was seen carrying a bratwurst as he exited the event.
The event took place under an expansive white tent in an area dubbed Liberty Plaza outside the security perimeter of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Former Sen. Rick Santorum was speaking in the other half of the tent this afternoon.