Washington: A day after being picked up by Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney as his running mate, Paul Ryan has received a low popularity rating as a vice-presidential candidate in a national survey.

Ryan, who currently is a member of the US House of Representatives, is seen as only a "fair" or "poor" choice by 42 per cent of the Americans against the 39 per cent who think he is an "excellent" or "pretty good" vice-presidential choice, reported the USA Today/Gallup poll taken on Sunday.

Reacting to the survey, Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said the findings reflect the fact that Ryan, a House member since 1999, isn't widely known, The US Today reported.

The numbers indicated that Ryan was "not a nationally known figure" prior to being named as Governor Romney's vice-presidential pick, Newhouse observed. "Congressman Ryan's selection reinforces the seriousness of the issues that will be debated in this election and President Obama's failure to get Americans back to work and his inability to strengthen the middle class," he he was quoted as saying.

The US Today/Gallup poll also found 17 per cent of adults saying that they were more likely to vote for Romney in November because Ryan is his running mate, and that 36 percent of Republicans were now more likely to vote for Romney.

In 2008, only three out of 10 Republicans said the choice of Sarah Palin made them more likely to vote for John McCain, the newspaper said. Meanwhile Ryan, who was addressing a public meeting Iowa, had to face repeated interruptions by people who heckled him during his first solo appearance after being selected as Republican vice-presidential candidate.

"You know, it's funny. It's funny because Iowans and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another and peaceful with one another and listen to each other. These ladies must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin," Ryan said after the security escorted away the two ladies who tried to rush towards the podium.

Ryan interrupted by female protester

Ryan was again interrupted by a female protester as he tried to resume his address. In a speech marred by interruptions, Ryan was highly critical of the four years of Obama Administration and slammed the President over his taxation and financial policies.

"President Obama is telling America's successful small businesses that he wants their top tax rate to go as high as 44 percent. The Canadians just lowered their tax rate to all of their businesses, in January, to 15 per cent," he said, accusing the Obama administration of giving Americans "four years of trillion dollar-plus deficits".

"He is making matters worse and he is spending children into a diminished future. We don't have to stand for that. We're not going to stand for that. And on November the 6th, we're going to change that," he said amidst applause.

Ryan asserted that Republicans had a plan for a stronger middle class to get the country "back on the track" of prosperity.

"We want America to be that land of the free, that opportunity society with a safety net, a society of upward mobility, a society of people reaching their potential, a society of people makes the most of their lives," Ryan said.

"We don't want to follow Europe. We don't want a welfare state. We don't want a debt crisis. We don't want to prolong this recession. We don't want to keep this path of household incomes going down USD 4,000. We want to turn this thing around," he said.


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